The New York Giants came out of their bye week with a bang as they demolished the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, but the victory came at a high price that has sent shockwaves through both the New York backfield and fantasy football.
Running back Andre Brown, who has gained 385 yards and scored eight touchdowns so far this year, suffered a broken fibula that will sideline him the rest of the season, according to Hank Gola of The New York Daily News.
The 25-year-old Brown, who had 64 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries before sustaining the injury, had emerged as an excellent complement and occasional replacement for starter Ahmad Bradshaw, who is once again battling the foot issues that have plagued him throughout his career.
That role will now fall to rookie David Wilson, and as Bradshaw told Gola, he's already made the youngster aware that it's time for him to pick up the slack.
“When I was a rookie I told David that D-Ward (Derrrick Ward) broke his fibula and I had to step in and be a big part of our offense,” Bradshaw said. “That’s what I expect from David. I told David just to get ready for the weeks to come. I think he can be a big part of our offense once we get him going.”
Wilson has shown flashes of explosiveness when afforded the opportunity this season, breaking several long kick returns and gashing the Cleveland Browns for a 40-yard scoring scamper earlier this year, and as Wilson told Jorge Castillo of The Newark Star-Ledger, he's ready to step into a larger role offensively.
"I've been preparing all the season and shadowing the guys in front of me so I feel like I'm prepared," said Wilson, who had been unaware of the extent of Brown's injury until he was asked questions about it. "He [Brown] played a big part in this offense so I definitely got to step up and me and Ahmad will be the running backs and try to fill that gap."
How big a role Wilson will play in the offense remains to be seen. Given Bradshaw's foot issues the veteran is going to need someone to spell him, and while Wilson has shown loads of ability he's also had struggles with pass protection and ball security. Losing fumbles or missing blitz pickups will get you in Tom Coughlin's doghouse quick.
It's that uncertainty that makes Wilson something of a fantasy playoffs lottery ticket. If he's unable to correct these issues, then it's unlikely that Wilson will receive more than a handful of carries per game unless Bradshaw's injuries worsen.
However, if David Wilson can step up and stand out, then he could move into a role where he's receiving double-digit touches a week. Given how dangerous Wilson has proven to be in the open field, the former Virginia Tech standout could easily become a flex play or even RB2 for fantasy squads that have sprung a leak at running back.