Then the Giants signed Rashad Jennings, drafted Andre Williams and then early this week Hillis suffered a muscle strain and had to miss a few practices. The strain is considered minor, and he doesn't expect to miss a significant period of time.
"I think I [strained] it around the first day of practice, and I strained it a little more this past Thursday," Hillis said. "But I've been getting better, getting healthy, hopefully I'll make it out by minicamp."
Despite the setback, Hillis remains confident. He's had to deal with backfield competitions for his entire career, from his days as a backup for the Broncos to his college career at Arkansas — where he was sharing carries with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.
"That's been the story ever since I got in the league," Hillis said. "They always draft another back, you just have to go out there and do your best and hopefully things work out."
He might even have a head start on the inevitable learning curve as the Giants adjust to new coordinator Ben McAdoo's offense. Hillis has experience as a West Coast running back from his years with Mike Shanahan in Denver, and thinks he can be a good fit.
"A lot of stuff is similar," Hillis said. "If you do it right, a running back will do really well in this system."