Barkley is expected to miss four to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter earlier this week. The longer time frame is considered more likely, the source said.
But the Giants don't currently plan to put Barkley on IR. That would automatically sideline him for eight weeks. There is at least reasonable hope that he could return sooner.
"At this point, no. ... I want to be clear, [the plan] doesn't involve putting Saquon on IR," Shurmur said.
Barkley's ankle was examined by Dr. Martin O'Malley in New York, and he received a second opinion Tuesday from Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay. Surgery was never really an option.
"Rehab him and get him ready to go," Shurmur said. "See how that plays out."
Wayne Gallman is expected to start in Barkley's place and carry the load in his absence.
The Giants (1-2) weren't willing to put a time frame on Barkley's injury. Shurmur noted the uncertainty with high ankle sprains as his reason.
It's expected that the Giants will elevate a running back this week. Gallman and fullback Elijhaa Penny are the only healthy backs on the active roster. Rookie Jon Hilliman is expected to get the call.
None of the alternatives is Barkley. The second-year back won Offensive Rookie of the Year last season and was off to a strong start this year. He topped 100 yards rushing each of the first two weeks.
Barkley had 37 carries for 237 yards with a touchdown this season before the injury, which occurred in the second quarter of a 32-31 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
He was injured when his right ankle bent awkwardly while he was tackled by Bucs safety Mike Edwards. Barkley limped to the sideline, where he was immediately attended to by trainers.
X-rays were negative, but he spent the second half of the contest on the sideline with crutches and in a boot. Barkley told ESPN after the game that he had suffered a similar injury during his freshman season at Penn State and missed two games.