After losing Andre Brown for what could be the first nine weeks of the season if he is officially put on the Injured Reserve/Return list, the New York Giants are bringing in some veteran running backs to potentially take his roster spot. Leon Washington, Jonathan Dwyer and Beanie Wells all visited the Giants on Tuesday.
Dwyer, who was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers and passed through waivers unclaimed to become a free agent, might be the most intriguing option. He is a decently sized running back, listed at 5-foot-11 and 235 pounds, although he reported to camp about 20 pounds heavier this season, who is good in pass protection and can be a factor in the passing game and in goal line situations like Brown.
With the Steelers Dwyer, a sixth round draft choice in the 2010 NFL Draft, rushed for 774 yards on 181 carries, a respectable 4.3 average, and two touchdowns in 21 games including six starts. He also caught 19 passes for 112 yards out of the backfield. He had a very strong preseason with the Steelers but the team decided to go with different options.
The Giants will probably work out several more running backs over the next few days and likely won’t make a move until next week, if at all, for a running back. The Giants did the same thing last season after Brown broke his leg before eventually signing Ryan Torain and Kregg Lumpkin.
Leon Washington would be a nice option out of the backfield in the passing game and could contribute in the return game but he doesn’t offer as much of an upside as Dwyer does. He does, however, offer veteran leadership, can block, run, catch passes and be a quality third down back for the Giants. Wells was once a promising prospect but injuries have derailed his career and now he is struggling to regain a foothold in the NFL.
Dwyer or Washington make the most sense for the Giants at this time. If the Giants are interested in Dwyer or Washington we will find out next week. Just don’t expect a decision to be made any time soon. For now, the Giants might be comfortable with David Wilson getting the lion’s share of the carries and either Michael Cox or Da’Rel Scott backing him up.