Dan Graziano | ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The huge second season the New York Giants and so many others expected for running back David Wilson never materialized and now it never will, as Wilson will be placed on season-ending injured reserve with a neck injury Thursday.
The move is not yet official, since the Giants want to get through Thursday’s practice and make sure no other injuries come up that would require them to make a different move. But a source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Thursday afternoon that the Giants were putting Wilson on IR.
Wilson hasn’t played since injuring his neck in the Giants’ Week 5 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and with running back Andre Brown ready to come off the injured reserve/designated for return list, the Giants will put Wilson on season-ending IR to clear a spot on the roster.
The Giants’ first-round pick in the 2012 draft, Wilson was in line for a significant role as the starting running back this season following the offseason release of longtime starter Ahmad Bradshaw. He had a strong preseason, and after Brown, who was slated to share carries with him, broke his leg in the preseason finale, Wilson’s role was expected to increase.
But Wilson fumbled twice in the season-opening loss at Dallas and was benched while the coaching staff ordered him to work on his ball-carrying technique. Wilson’s playing time increased gradually Weeks 2 through 5, and his final 2013 line will show 146 rushing yards and one touchdown on 44 carries.
Since Wilson’s benching and injury, the Giants have added Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis to the running back mix and made rookie Michael Cox more a part of the offensive game plan. Having Brown back will strengthen a running game that ranks 30th in the league in yards per game and yards per carry, and should also help in pass protection — a critical area in which Wilson struggled in September as well.
It’s unclear whether Wilson will end up needing surgery for his neck problem or whether rest and rehab will be enough to get him ready for next season.
Earlier this week, the Giants said further tests on Wilson’s neck had shown improvement in his herniated disk but that he was not yet cleared to resume football activities. At the time, they said they’d wait a few more weeks before determining his availability for the rest of this season. But with Brown returning and only eight games left anyway, it made sense to shut him down.
- Joined ESPN in 2011
- New Jersey native and author of two published novels