Friday, October 10, 2014, 6:13pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 6. Andre Williams has out-touched Peyton Hillis 37-to-10 in the last two weeks with Jennings missing time in both games. We’re expecting a big game out of Williams, who should run well against a shaky Eagles rush defense.
The Giants pulled off their come from behind victory over the Falcons on Sunday without running back Rashad Jennings and it sounds like they will enter next Sunday night’s game against the Eagles without him as well.
Jennings left the win after his first carry of the second half and did not return because of a knee injury. Jennings said after the game that he didn’t think he’d be out long, but he also said he was having an MRI and the results of that are always more telling.
In this case, they are telling Jennings that he has a sprained MCL.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that Jennings offered no timetable for his return at this point. It’s the type of injury that usually keeps players out for a little while, though, and that will make him questionable, at best, for the Eagles and the Week 7 game against the Cowboys.
It's important to note the Giants have a bye in Week 8, so it's possible they keep Jennings out for a couple of games and then the bye week, although it means missing division games vs. Eagles (Week 6) and Cowboys (Week 7). Andre Williams would get the nod to carry a bulk of Jennings work with Peyton Hillis possibly chipping in. Both games are pretty good matchups. This week's game against the Eagles is the Sunday night game so owners will have some planning to do.
The Giants are labeling the injury a sprain. Jennings will undergo an MRI on Monday.
"We’ll find out more tomorrow," Jennings said. "We’ll see what the MRI says. But I should be all right, that’s how I feel. Just kind of got ruffled up under the pile a little bit."
Entering the day, Jennings was third in the NFL in rushing yards (341), behind only Dallas' DeMarco Murray and Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell (378). He had nine carries for 47 yards in the first half Sunday, and injured his knee on his first carry of the second half, an eight-yard gain. Rookie Andre Williams replaced Jennings and finished the game with 20 carries for 65 yards, including a three-yard touchdown run later in the third quarter. Peyton Hillis also saw limited action, with two carries for seven yards. Williams would stand to see a lot more work if Jennings can't go against the Eagles in a Sunday night game in Week 6. If you own Jennings, and Williams is on your wire, grab him for some protection against the dreaded "game-time decision" in what also is a good matchup.
ESPN's Dan Graziano broke down the Giants RB situation and said he expect the Giants' run game to lean heavily on Rashad Jennings in the early going, with rookie Andre Williams serving as the primary backup while Williams gets up to speed.
He added he's curious what happens when they get close to the goal line? Will they stick with Jennings or switch up to Williams or Peyton Hillis for the dirty work? Jennings can surely handle it, but if they're asking a starter's workload of him otherwise, they may assign the goal line banging to Hillis for the sake of preserving Jennings and/or Williams.
It's also possible the Giants will throw more in the red zone than they did under their previous offensive coordinator, though they're not exactly loaded with classic options at red zone receiver or tight end.
But as far as the workload, I think Jennings is the bell cow to start and Williams has to play his way into more carries. I think he's capable of doing so, and that he's excellent with the ball in his hands. But in order to truly eat into Jennings' snaps, Williams is going to have to show he can reliably catch the ball and pick up the blitz in pass protection.
It's a typical reason why rookie RBs don't often get a lot of time early in the season or more specifically on passing downs - blocking in pass protection. Williams has struggled a bit, as well as pass catching, in camp according to reports, so right now Jennings looks like the guy who is going to get a bulk of the work - at least early on.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 11:06pm
It appears that Hillis has already lost the RB2 job to Andre Williams and this injury won't help matters.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 10:33am
Rashad Jennings was signed to be the Giants workhorse back and is likely to lead the team in carries if everyone stays healthy. They like him as a between-the-tackles runner and as a receiver out of the backfield, and they will work with him in camp to make sure he can handle the necessary protection responsibilities to play on third downs.
But the wild card is Wilson, the 2012 first-round pick who's coming off neck surgery. Wilson still hasn't been cleared for contact, and while he hopes to receive his clearance July 21, it's no sure thing until it happens. If Wilson can play, he has a chance to become a major factor and challenge Jennings for carries and catches. The Giants believe Wilson offers a home-run threat from the running back position, and if he's healthy they will find a way to get that into their lineup.
We've been waiting what seems like forever for Wilson to emerge as the team's big threat, and until that happens Jennings has a chance to put up solid fantasy numbers. Rookie Andre Williams is called a work in progress while vet Peyton Hillis shouldn't be too much of a threat. When Jennings had a chance to start last year he put up the sixth best point totals for RBs from Weeks 9-15 (includes a missed game). We rank him 20th coming into this season which is a low-end RB2.
David Wilson (neck) is scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday. He sounds sure he'll be cleared to play. "I don't even think about (the neck injury) when I’m out there," Wilson said last week. "I’m just doing everything normal. If you focus on that, it’s the wrong thing to focus on. I’m trying to focus more on building chemistry with my team and learning this playbook so we can have a better season than we did last year.
“I have no pain and there’s nothing I can do to make it better. But I want to express that I’ve never had any pain. I went home to my family and they were shocked to see me. On Memorial Day weekend, like, ‘Oh my God, is your neck…how is your neck?’ I never had any pain. I’ve been walking on my own, talking on my own, doing everything normal, running, exercising like regular. I want to express to everybody that I have never had any pain at all, zero percent. I’ve been healthy and doing well.”
Monday, June 2, 2014, 10:07am
Giants beat writer Dan Graziano gives his take on the Giants backfield:
The Giants signed Rashad Jennings to be their starting running back. They believe he's ready at this stage of his career, after backing up guys like Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville and Darren McFadden in Oakland, to handle a starter's workload. They believe he can catch the ball for them out of the backfield, that he can grind out yards between the tackles and that he's capable of delivering a big play. Assuming he picks up the blocking schemes and can help in pass protection, he's their guy.
That said, Wilson is still on the team, and if the 2012 first-round draft pick shows he's recovered from neck surgery, there is surely going to be a role for a player with his skills. The Giants are hearing good things about Wilson's recovery, but they know they can't count on him, so they signed Jennings and brought back Peyton Hillis in order to construct a backfield in case Wilson can't be a part of it.
I think their plan is for Jennings to get the bulk of the carries with Hillis as his backup, and if they are pleasantly surprised by Wilson's health and availability, they will find ways to work him into the offense. If healthy, he offers a lot.
Jennings was the #6 RB from Week 9 to Week 15 (when he was playing starter’s snaps for the Raiders) and that included a missed game against the Jets in Week 14. The team still believes in David Wilson, but Jennings is fully capable of winning the RB1 job outright. The Giants had a very difficult time running the ball in 2013, so they need to sort out the offensive line as well. Still, Jennings is a three-down back and has a relatively clear path to a starting gig. For a closer look at Jennings' potential workload and production, click here.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 8:58am
The tweet noted that the team thinks he's an 'all-purpose player' and that he's very good at screens, which leads us to believe he could potentially be a three-down back. That's something Peyton Hillis is not, and David Wilson, who is coming off a neck injury, has yet to prove. Jennings could be in store for a big workload in 2014.
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