The Giants have paid a lot of attention to the halfback position this offseason. Although Andre Brown left for Houston in April, New York was already prepared when they brought in Rashad Jennings from Oakland. The team further fortified the position by drafting Boston College stud Andre Williams in the fourth round of May's NFL Draft.
With both the veteran Jennings and rookie Williams onboard, the Giants could be satisfied with what they have done at halfback, but they still have big plans for David Wilson. The speedster out of Virginia Tech was taken No. 32 overall two years ago, but he has yet to fulfill his massive potential.
In his rookie season of 2012, Wilson spent some time In head coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse thanks to a couple of Week 1 fumbles, but he later flashed brilliance with a three-touchdown game against the Saints. His late season heroics made Wilson a player to watch heading into 2013, but he struggled mightily with a 3.3 yards per carry average and just one score in five games.
Against the Eagles on October 6, Wilson suffered a herniated disc in his neck and was forced to miss the rest of the season due to spinal fusion surgery. The Giants never found one player to replace Wilson, instead relying on a committee of backs for the remainder of the 2013 season. That's why the door remains open for Wilson to be an impact player for the G-Men. He still has the highest upside of any back on the roster.
First, though, Wilson has got to get healthy, and there's good news for Giants fans in that regard. A recent CT scan on his neck has shown that he is about a month away from full participation in practice. Wilson has been present at Giants' OTAs, but he is currently only participating on a limited basis.
"Everything I got this morning was good news," said Wilson on Wednesday. "There was nothing bad or negative. I'm very pleased and very blessed for my healing process to continue."
At this rate, Wilson should be cleared to be a full participant in training camp, which will kick off for the Giants on July 21.
"There has been significant progress and healing since David had the fusion," said Giants physician Dr. Russell Warren. "We anticipate that when David is re-evaluated at the start of training camp he will be cleared at that point."
At OTAs, Wilson is practicing with the offense, but he is taken off when the defense is on the field in order to avoid re-injuring his neck.
"I can do anything and everything that's asked of me at this point," said Wilson. "I'm removed when it's defense vs. offense so as not to have an accident. I'm catching passes, taking handoffs from the quarterbacks and getting reps with the offense without the defense."
With new coordinator Bob McAdoo taking over the offense this season, it's important for Wilson to get as many reps as possible, even if there's no defenders on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
"As long as I'm getting my mental reps, I think the coaches believe in my athletic ability to take over after that and I'll be just fine."