All involved with the Giants are breathlessly awaiting the pairing of Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz as 2015 targets for Eli Manning, but general manager Jerry Reese has sounded the alarm that he cannot unequivocally count on vintage Cruz next season.
“You’ve got to prepare as if, ‘What if Victor Cruz doesn’t come back?’ ’’ Reese said Tuesday. “If you are a personnel guy, or a general manager, that is always in the back of your head. What if this guy doesn’t come back and be the player that we think he is?’’
Cruz had surgery to repair a torn patella tendon in his right knee suffered Oct. 12 in Philadelphia and the estimated recovery time was put at nine months. Cruz has vowed to return to his past form, but Reese spoke of him in a tone similar to the one Reese took a year ago when running back David Wilson was dealing with a neck injury that ultimately forced him to retire.
"There are not a lot of guys that have been through neck surgeries and a year later they are playing football again, especially at my position," Bradshaw said recently, via The Herald Bulletin. "Right now, as we speak, I am as confident as anything going in. I don't think about my neck at all playing, and I am just shooting forward from here on."
Bradshaw isn't sure if he will get the green light to make his 2014 preseason debut Saturday versus the Giants, but is confident that he will ready to play against the Broncos in the regular-season opener.
Their preference is for rookie fourth-rounder Andre Williams to show enough to claim the No. 2 spot. He looks good running the ball but not so good catching it, and, as any rookie back would, he has work to do in pass protection.
The loss of Wilson is a big deal, especially because the Giants don't have a prototype third down back. As the story said above, Williams is struggling in the passing game which is typical of rookie backs, but he at least seems poised to perhaps be an early-down handcuff to Jennings.
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 9:26pm
The Giants stuck with their starters on offense a bit longer in their second preseason outing of the season and got rewarded with a 73-yard touchdown run by RB Rashad Jennings that was sprung by a great block from aspiring right guard Brandon Mosley.
Running back David Wilson, the Giants' 2012 first-round pick, is not only out for the 2014 season with a neck injury, but has been advised to never play football again. On Wednesday, he spoke emotionally and eloquently in what amounted to a farewell press conference.
It's a wise decision to walk away after a series of scary neck injuries. We wish Wilson the best of luck in his future endeavors.
According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, "Giants doctors are shutting down RB David Wilson due to the neck injury that he sustained last year and most recently in camp. There is a belief that the injury could be career-ending."
Wilson hurt his neck in practice last week, saw some doctors about it in New York City and believed he'd get good news today after being examined by the doctor who performed his surgery in January. From a fantasy perspective, Andre Williams could get a bump in value now behind Rashad Jennings, even though he does not have a Wilson-like build to him for a third-down role. Williams saw first-team work in the Giants game with the Bills Sunday night and scored a TD. As for Wilson, it's believed he could be put on IR, or the Giants could reach an injury settlement.
Giants RB Rashad Jennings headlines a diverse group of candidates to fill the possible void left by David Wilson. Already the starter, he'll likely have an expanded role. Second-year pro Michael Cox, veteran Peyton Hillis, rookie Andre Williams and first-year pro Kendall Gaskins are also in the mix.
Each brings a different dimension to the backfield but none possess the game-breaking ability of Wilson. Coach Tom Coughlin said he’ll employ a running back-by-committee rotation to offset the likely loss of Wilson.
“I think we have some talented guys at that spot,” Coughlin said Thursday. “I think Rashad has done well. I think the young kid (Williams) has come along the more we have given him to do. Michael Cox has had his spots."
The various backs will have roles, but Jennings is very likely to play heavy snaps. He has his detractors, but he's a solid pick in the 5th round as a RB2/RB3.
One unnamed source with knowledge of the running back's medical condition told NJ.com that Wilson "needs a miracle" to return.
Giants RB David Wilson will not practice for the remainder of this week and will not play Sunday night, when the Giants play their preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Giants running back, who suffered a burner in practice yesterday, will be examined and evaluated on Monday by Dr. Frank Cammisa at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.
It's not clear how long Wilson will be out, but it's a scary situation considering he was coming off of a season-ending neck injury in 2013. He was only recently cleared to practice. If he's healthy, we're only expecting a change-of-pace role behind Rashad Jennings.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 12:40pm
The Giants running backs are going to be used as pass catchers much more frequently than in the past few years. That is why it's so important to have a healthy David Wilson. In addition to screen passes, OC Ben McAdoo is asking his running backs to run all types of routes. At times, they're almost being used as wide receivers. Running back Rashad Jennings caught a pass on a crossing route the other day. Peyton Hillis snagged a ball after running a hitch. The entire route tree is in play for the running backs in this offense.
“He was sore in the hamstring, so we held him," Coughlin said, via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
Graziano reports that it didn’t sound like something the Giants think is a serious problem, but they need only look to Beckham for an example of how a seemingly minor hamstring injury can turn into something more if it doesn’t get the proper time to heal.
The location of the issue is a major source of concern for the Giants and for their former first-round pick. Wilson suffered a "burner" last season against Philadelphia that forced him on injured reserve and onto an operating table for spinal fusion surgery.
"We were all praying that it would not be an issue, that he could just come back and go to work," Coughlin said. "He was cleared. So we'll see. I'm not going to speculate what it is. We'll have to see what the doctors say."
Wilson went through a lengthy clearance process this spring and summer in order to get back on the field. He was finally given the green light by the medical staff the day training camp began, and went through four padded practices. This is obviously a pretty scary issue for the young back. From a fantasy perspective, Wilson was fighting for time with free agent Rashad Jennings, and the speedy back was hoping to at least get a third down role. He was ranked just 74th on our list, but was getting a late round flier in drafts according to ADPs. This is an injury obviously worth monitoring because we could be dealing with the threat of his career if serious enough.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 6:48pm
Not what you want to be reading about Wilson even early on in camp. So far, it's been a struggle for the running game. The story did mention Rashad Jennings showed glimpses of his shifty ability to turn short passes out of the backfield into big gains.
Giants beat writer Dan Graziano on the chances that rookie RB Andre Williams pushes the other RBs for carries: "I think there's a chance the Giants could use the rookie Andre Williams right away as a goal-line back, because in the past they've liked a power back in that role, and Williams can certainly be that without any further development. But outside of that, no, I would say he's well behind David Wilson, Rashad Jennings and even Peyton Hillis on the depth chart. The Giants love what Williams did in college, but they absolutely need to see more from him as a pass-catcher and, most importantly, a pass-blocker before he could start taking reps away from those other guys. The way their running back group is structured right now, barring injury, they won't feel the need to rush a rookie before he's ready. And while there's a lot to like about Williams, he's far from a finished product."
The Giants didn't sign Jennings to a significant deal to see him caddy for a rookie running back. Wilson is the threat to Jennings' touches, but he is coming off of a significant injury and flopped in a starting role last year. We're expecting Jennings to be the teams clear lead back with Wilson in a change of pace role ansd Williams potentially getting some goal line work.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:01pm
Giants RB David Wilson passed his first test facing contact coming off neck surgery. Midway through practice he collided head-first with S Cooper Taylor and came out fine. “That felt good,” Wilson said. “I definitely know I’m cleared now. It felt good to go back out there with my teammates and compete again.’’
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