At the end of the first quarter of the 4th preseason game vs. the New England Patriots, running back Andre Brown broke his leg. This immediately raised concerns about the Giants running attack.
Although penciled in as the starter, the plan was to have David Wilson and Brown share most of the time in the backfield. Now with much uncertainty surrounding the Giants running game, the job will be solely on the back Wilson. As for Brown, the Giants have placed the often-injured RB on short term Injured Reserve and he is slated to return in week 8.
There is definite pressure on the electric David Wilson. While he is a home run threat each time he touches the ball, the Giants will ask him to take on a load that wasn’t expected.In the past, Big Blue has often relied on two or, at times, three running backs to share load of carries .
We have seen in small glimpses how fast Wilson can be which makes his presence even more exciting. During an interview with the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock he described Wilson as a player who is, “really quick, great feet and balance. He’s a downhill, one-cut back with highly impressive feet.”
Wilson finished his senior year at Virginia Tech with an average of 21 carries per game. The Giants hope those feet can carry an the increased load with out Andre Brown because his backups are just as unproven.
The man now behind Wilson on the depth chart is 3rd year running back, Da’Rel Scott. The fact that Scott is going to be getting significant playing time in this Sunday’s opening game vs. the Cowboys comes as a huge surprise.
Entering the final preseason game, Scott was on the bubble to make the team.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride sees a fast and physical runner that can help this team. In a quote to the Star Ledger, Gilbride liked what he saw from a sequence of plays from Scott in the 3rd quarter. “You know he has the speed and if there’s a hole there, he’s going to exploit that and he has the chance speed-wise to go the distance. But when there isn’t a hole can you make people miss or can you break a tackle. I thought he hit it with tremendous toughness.”
The opportunity for Da’rel Scott has never been greater.
The Giants are very high on rookie 7th rd running back, Michael Cox out of UMass. The bright lights of Sunday Night Football may be too bright and early for the young back.
He will contribute after his strong showing in the preseason as a kick returner; however, the Giants have shown before (also in the case of a 7th rd pick with Ahmad Bradshaw), that there may be a role in the near future for Cox.
Earlier this week, the Giants brought in veteran free agents Chris “Beanie” Wells, Leon Washington and surprised cut from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jonathan Dwyer. What we do know for certain is that no veteran running back will be signed until after week 1 when salaries for veterans are not guaranteed.
Marco Imperati | Featured Columnist