David Wilson's Possible Retirement Won't Devastate New York Giants Running Game

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 15:   David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants carries the ball in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Running back David Wilson's career is very much in doubt, but the New York Giants have managed to build a deep backfield that should be able to absorb what looks like a big loss on the surface.

There has been a great deal of uncertainty surrounding Wilson ever since a neck injury cost him much of the 2013 season. The Virginia Tech product attempted to make a comeback, but it was quickly halted during training camp as his neck issues persisted.

According to SportsCenter, the G-Men ended Wilson's 2014 season Monday by placing him on injured reserve, and the expectation is that his career has reached its conclusion as well:

That resulted in the Giants waiving Wilson and ending his tenure with the team for all intents and purposes, per Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News:

The Giants had huge expectations for Wilson, the 32nd pick in the 2012 NFL draft. He showed flashes of brilliance over the course of two seasons as his explosive speed and overall dynamism led to some highlight-reel plays.

Unfortunately, Wilson will likely never have the opportunity to live up to his true potential. Even so, he is satisfied and at peace with what he has been able to accomplish, according to Giants.com:

I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me. I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too. ... Growing up, ever since I was eight years old, I wanted to play in the NFL. It was my dream. And I can't say that I didn't live my dream, because I did. I played for the New York Giants. I was a first round draft choice of the New York Giants. I scored touchdowns. I caught touchdowns. I returned kicks for touchdowns and I set records. So I got to do some of the things I dreamed of doing all my life.

The 23-year-old's perspective has already impressed many, including ESPN's Ed Werder:

Now that the Giants are certain they will be without Wilson in 2014 and beyond, the focus shifts toward the current state of their running game. As cold as it sounds, the NFL is a business, and it requires organizations to move on when players go down.

The Giants are faced with that exact scenario, but they are well prepared. New York signed Rashad Jennings away from the Oakland Raiders this offseason, and he figures to serve as the primary back initially.

Jennings started much of last season with the Raiders due to Darren McFadden dealing with injuries. He rushed for 733 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry, so he has certainly shown the ability to be a full-time NFL starter if given the opportunity.

Even if Jennings falters, though, the Giants have a great backup plan in the form of rookie Andre Williams. The Boston College star fell all the way to the fourth round, but he proved to be a game-breaker in college. Although he has just one preseason game under his belt, he acquitted himself well, to the tune of 48 yards and a touchdown on seven totes.

NFL.com's Chris Wesseling is of the opinion that Williams could be the NFL's best rookie rusher this season:

To top it all off, the Giants also have Peyton Hillis in place as insurance. Hillis has his deficiencies, but he is a bruiser who was one of the NFL's best backs in 2010 with the Cleveland Browns. Even though he is currently the third-stringer, he can be more than competent when called upon.

New York's running game was a shambles last season due to injuries and overall ineffectiveness. It didn't take long for the Giants to completely change that outlook, though.

There is no question that the Giants would have been in an even better spot with a healthy Wilson, but they have done more than enough through free agency and the draft to give quarterback Eli Manning some much-needed support on the ground.


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