New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley will not require surgery after receiving confirmation of the initial diagnosis in a second opinion on his high ankle sprain. The running back returned from a consultation with Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay and will continue with his prescribed treatments.

“We’ll just rehab him and get him ready to go and see how that plays out,” Coach Pat Shurmur said Thursday.

Shurmur refused to put a timeline on Barkley’s return – “You never know how long some of these things take,” he said – but said there are no plans to place Barkley on injured reserve. That indicates the team hopes he will be sidelined for fewer than eight weeks. If the Giants placed Barkley on injured reserve this week, he would be eligible to return to practice in six weeks and play in eight.

High ankle sprains typically take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to heal.

• The Giants signed former Rutgers running back Jon Hilliman off the practice squad and placed veteran wide receiver Russell Shepard on injured reserve because of a foot injury.

WASHINGTON: A day after missing the team walk-through because of a sprained foot that had him in a walking boot, quarterback Case Keenum fully practiced Thursday, and he is expected to start Sunday at the New York Giants, barring any setbacks.

NFL OWNERS essentially have abandoned their pursuit of an 18-game regular season in labor negotiations with the NFL Players Association but remain interested in a 17-game season that could be implemented in conjunction with an expanded set of playoffs and a reduced preseason.

The shift in the owners’ bargaining position was confirmed by two people familiar with the deliberations after first being reported by The Athletic.

Representatives of the owners and players have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA runs through the 2020 season. Owners sought an 18-game season during negotiations with the players that produced a 10-year labor deal struck in 2011, but abandoned the proposal when the NFLPA vehemently objected on player-safety grounds. They renewed that pursuit, at the behest of some owners, during these negotiations. But the proposal did not necessarily have widespread support among the owners this time, and continued to be opposed strongly by the NFLPA, according to those with knowledge of the deliberations.

• The NFL has joined with DraftKings as its provider for daily fantasy sports, moving the league closer to a full embrace of legal sports betting.

DraftKings began as a fantasy sports platform but now operates as a full-service sportsbook. The deal announced Thursday makes DraftKings the NFL’s “official daily fantasy partner.”

The league has joined with Caesars Palace for sports betting marketing, its first deal with a traditional casino company. But the NFL remains the only major North American sports league not to designate a full-fledged sports betting partner.

SUPER BOWL: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be the halftime performers at Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Feb. 2.

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