Rookie Andre Williams is expected to start against the Titans if Rashad Jennings can't play. Fellow rookie Orleans Darkwa would also get some snaps. It sure sounded Thursday as if Darkwa (6-0, 215) was part of the plan. The Tulane product was signed off the Miami Dolphins practice squad last month.
"He is working his way into it, he has been here a little while, he is smart, conscientious, we trust him," offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said. "He has a little different flavor back there for us. Next man up."
"He is a shiftier type guy and we like him … stay tuned. We will leave it at that," McAdoo said.
McAdoo noted that Darkwa does have "a good set of hands." With that not being Williams' strength, there is a good chance Darkwa is utilized in passing situations.
It sounds as if Williams may not have the backfield to himself if Jennings can't play. He split reps with Peyton Hillis when Jennings was out, and now it sounds as if Darkwa might fill the passing down role if Jennings can't play. Williams has not shown good hands this season after not catching a single pass as a senior at Boston College.
Peyton Hillis is done for 2014.
This is the second straight year that Hillis has been sidelined by a concussion. He missed a game last December with the same issue, also suffered against the Seahawks. He finishes the season with 26 carries for 115 yards to go with 10 receptions for 87 yards. The Giants replaced Hillis on the roster by signing linebacker Justin Anderson off the practice squad.
Hillis, 28, primarily served as a third-down back for New York.
Andre Williams will be rejoined in the backfield this week by Rashad Jennings, who is expected to return to action on Sunday against the 49ers after missing five games with an MCL sprain, the story said. The 49ers don't present a great matchup for the running game however. Jennings is expected to get the bigger workload.
Friday, November 14, 2014, 6:06pm
Giants RB Peyton Hillis (concussion, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 11.
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:29pm
Giants RB Peyton Hillis (concussion) missed practice again Thursday. Hillis is likely out for Week 11.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 5:52pm
Giants RB Peyton Hillis (concussion) did not practice Wednesday. Hillis is likely out for Week 11.
On Wednesday, coach Tom Coughlin sounded as optimistic as he has in weeks regarding the status of running back Rashad Jennings, who has missed four games with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Coughlin said Jennings would practice in limited fashion on Wednesday, then added that he should be "ready to go" this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
"He will give our team an outstanding lift," Coughlin said.
The Giants made few moves to shore up the running back spot this week, despite injuries to Peyton Hillis (concussion) and Michael Cox (placed on season-ending injured reserve after a broken leg), although they did sign Dolphins practice squad RB Orleans Darkwa to replace Cox on the 53-man roster. Still, it seems as if they're counting on Jenning to return this week.
He'd provide an instant boost to the running game; he's a more patient runner than Andre Williams, a better receiver and blocker and, after a month of recovery, he should also be fresh come Sunday.
We're projecting Jennings to get around 16 touches in his first game back, but it's a tough matchup against the 49ers.
Sunday, November 9, 2014, 7:30pm
Sunday, November 9, 2014, 3:02pm
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.
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