New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is helped off of the field after suffering an injury during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Saquon Barkley has been open about the fact that Adrian Peterson was one of his childhood heroes. The New York Giants star has tried to model his game and work ethic after Peterson’s, and he can now lean on AP for advice on overcoming an extremely difficult injury.

Barkley left Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears with a knee injury, and early indications are that he tore his ACL. Peterson, of course, suffered a torn ACL late in the 2011 season and then returned the following year to set a career high with 2,097 rushing yards. When Barkley was a rookie in 2018, NFL Films captured him on the sideline talking about Peterson’s 2012 comeback. Peterson gave Barkley some words of wisdom after the game.

Assuming Barkley does have a torn ACL, he’ll have more time to recover than Peterson did. Peterson’s torn ACL came on Dec. 24, 2011. He somehow underwent surgery and rehabbed hard enough to be ready for Week 1 in 2012. If all goes well for Barkley, there’s no reason he can’t do the same.

Barkley already proved how tough he is when he played through a significant injury last season. There’s no reason to doubt that he will come back stronger than ever in 2018, especially if Peterson mentors him along the way.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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