It was just days ago that Giants halfback David Wilson had finally been cleared to play football again. Last season, the third-year player out of Virginia Tech suffered a neck injury and missed most of the season with spinal fusion surgery. With a clean bill of health, Wilson was supposed to return to action this season to provide big-play explosiveness to New York’s running game.
Instead, Wilson suffered another neck injury on Tuesday. This one was designated as a “burner,” but it could have serious consequences on the young running back’s career. He will be examined by doctors on Monday, but sources close to the Giants are already saying that Wilson’s career is in jeopardy.
A team source with inside knowledge of Wilson’s spoke on a condition of anonymity saying that the running back “needs a miracle” in order to play football again this season. Another lost season from Wilson would be a tough blow for the Giants to take. They are already missing rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. because of a nagging hamstring injury. With both players out, the team could be stuck with a similar group of “skill” position players that the offense struggled with in 2013.
With Wilson’s status still yet to be officially determined, the Giants at least have some depth built up behind (and in front of) him. Rashad Jennings was brought in as a free agent in the offseason to be New York’s “bell cow” and carry the load on first and second down. New York also drafted Andre Williams out of Boston College in May. The rookie is a bruiser who racked up over 2,000 yards in the ACC last year, but his struggles with catching the ball out of the backfield could limit his playing time in 2014.
The Giants also still have Peyton Hillis, who was brought in when injuries to Wilson and Andre Brown created a running back emergency early last season. If Wilson is to miss any significant time with this new injury, Hillis as well as 2013 seventh-round draft pick Michael Cox have a much better chance of making New York’s Week 1 roster.
Even with a nice stable of backs, the Giants would be missing an element of explosiveness if Wilson is not healthy enough to compete this year. He was drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft in order to be New York’s starting running back of the future, but now it appears that the team would be lucky to have him as a part-time player.