Things have gone from bad to worse for running back David Wilson after doctors advised the injured 23-year-old to stop playing football in light of recurring neck injuries that they fear could result in a debilitating condition down the road. New York’s former first round pick in the 2012 NFL draft underwent spinal fusion surgery this offseason only to re-aggravate the condition during practice last week. After a battery of tests and evaluations, doctors determined that continuing to play football wouldn't be in the best interest of his long-term health.
“Dr. Frank Cammisa Jr., our spine specialist at HSS examined David this morning and following that exam, we both sat down and shared our perspective with David,” said Dr. Warren. “David has diffuse cervical stenosis. He had a disc removed and a fusion in January. In light of last week’s episode of symptoms, sensory and motor, Frank and I both told David he should not play football any more. We let David know that by playing, he would be putting himself at risk for more episodes like last week or perhaps something more serious. ”
An unfortunate end to a once promising career, the former Virginia Tech standout is refusing to throw a pity party; instead, he’s thankful for his opportunity to fulfill a lifelong goal.
“I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me,” said Wilson. “I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too.”
After Wilson’s appointment at HSS, he returned to the Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center offices early this afternoon and to meet with general manager Jerry Reese, head coach Tom Coughlin and team president John Mara to talk about his future plans beyond football.
“David and I had a great talk,” said Reese. “He’s disappointed like all of us, but he’s a strong young man and understands that he has a lot of life left to live and it’s not worth to him, his family or us to put his health in harm’s way by continuing to play football.”
“I’m thankful that I can literally walk away from the game and that I am healthy and capable of doing the same things I have done all my life, except play football,” said Wilson. “I always try to find the positive in everything. This morning when I saw Dr. Cammisa and Dr. Warren, I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear, but I expected that what they told me could be a possibility. I had played out both scenarios in my mind. I prayed this morning before I went to see them that they would tell me what God would tell me. He put His answer in them to relay to me.”
“The whole idea for David is that he fulfilled his dream,” said Coughlin. “Even though his career was cut short, he remains positive and believes God has a plan. He has accepted this in such a way that is a great example for all of us. There is no self-pity. David is a strong person and extremely optimistic. He will meet his next challenge in life with the same enthusiasm he approached football.”