This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.
The success of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was bittersweet, as the Giants lost their star running back in the team's comeback win over the Buccaneers. Barkley suffered a significant ankle sprain in the first half and was unable to return to action. He later returned to the sidelines in a walking boot and on crutches. An MRI performed Monday revealed a syndesmotic or high ankle sprain, and the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year is expected to miss multiple weeks recovering.
Ankle injuries are the most common injury reported in the NFL with sprains topping the list. Most ankle sprains involve the talocrural joint, the articulation formed by the tibia, fibula and talus bones. Here, ligaments on both sides of the joint stabilize the area, preventing excessive motion. A second joint, the subtalar joint, is formed between the talus and the calcaneus (the heel bone). The subtalar joint is often effected in most "normal" or lateral ankle sprains.
The third and final joint of the ankle is the distal tibiofibular (tib-fib) joint. The tib-fib joint is located at the bottom of the lower leg bones, where the tibia and fibula create a roof over the talus. Three strong ligaments stabilize the ankle mortise, spreading across the joint. If one of these structures is stressed beyond its yield point, the injury is classified as a high ankle sprain.
High ankle sprains are often accompanied by longer recovery windows due to the high degree of force placed on and through