Expect Barkley to return to a performance level similar to Weeks 1-2 and 13-17 of 2019. He’s now had 2 high ankle sprains on the same leg, but his recovery timelines from each imply relatively low-grade injuries. Low level of injury concern compared to other RBs, but don’t bank on any of them to play every game, as data from NFL RBs tell us that even the most durable miss ~2 games/season.
2019 - right high ankle sprain (Week 3; missed 3 games)
2018 - hamstring strain (Aug; no games missed)
2016 - right ankle sprain (Nov; no games missed)
2015 - right high ankle sprain (Sep; 2 games missed)
2019 - 13/16
2018 - 16/16
With plenty of time to heal up from the Week 3 high ankle sprain that cost him 3 games in 2019, Barkley is expected to return to his prior level of productivity. We recommend using his 2019 Weeks 1-2 (pre-injury games) and Weeks 13-17 (after he was likely fully recovered) to set expectations for 2020.
Barkley has now had 2 high ankle sprains on the same leg. Each injury cost him 2-3 games. The relatively short recovery time, in combination with the fact that neither required surgery, make us confident that these were relatively low-severity injuries. The fact that both were on the same side is slightly concerning, but it’s unlikely that this represents a major injury risk for him going forward. Overall low concern for the position, but it’s worth nothing that RBs are often hurt, with only 51% of high volume backs making it through every game.
Image Source: Keith Allison, CC-BY-SA-2.0