Before David Wilson’s second fumble hit the ground and was scooped up and returned for a touchdown, fans of the New York Giants were on social media calling for his benching and discussing which free agent running backs the Giants should bring in.
Well, the Giants had already planned to bring in a couple of running backs to work out on Tuesday. On Friday, the Giants set up work outs with Willis McGahee and Brandon Jacobs to see if either would help bolster the dangerously thin group.
The Giants found out just how thin they are at running back. Andre Brown, who was supposed to share carries with David Wilson, broke his leg in the final preseason game and won’t be eligible to return until Week 10 after the Giants placed him on temporary injured reserve. After Wilson was benched last night it was up to Da’Rel Scott to shoulder the load. Scott didn’t wow anyone but he did a decent enough job with the exception of a failed screen that led to an interception by Brandon Carr that was returned 49 yards for a touchdown. Scott averaged 4.6 yards-per-carry on five rushes for 23 yards including a long of 16. That is hardly starter material but it was a sight better than Wilson’s seven carries for 19 yards, 13 of which came on one run.
The Giants need to add depth at running back after Wilson made it clear he was not ready for prime-time. Not only did he have the two fumbles and fail to generate any momentum on the ground but he was absolutely dreadful in pass protection, an area of concern since last preseason. Wilson looked confused and defenders were able to run around him and put pressure on Eli Manning.
The Giants could conceivably sign both Jacobs and McGahee and relegate Wilson to kick returns like last season. That is assuming, of course, that McGahee and Jacobs have something left in the tank.
Last season, McGahee rushed for 731 yards on 167 carries with the Denver Broncos last season before breaking his leg. He was released by the Broncos despite a clean bill of health. Jacobs signed with the San Francisco 49ers prior to last season and was waived after injuries plagued him and he only managed seven yards on five carries. He did, however, score 56 touchdowns during his seven years with the Giants and was a key member of two Super Bowl winning teams. One has to wonder what he has left in the tank after last season and a sub-par 2011 that saw him average 3.8 yards on 152 carries.
The Giants need to add someone. With Wilson struggling the only other running backs on the roster are Scott and rookie Michael Cox who also fumbled a kickoff last night but was able to recover it. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Giants added two running backs to the roster in order to bolster the running game. Last week the Giants worked out Leon Washington, Jonathan Dwyer and Beanie Wells. Washington re-signed with the New England Patriots this week but Dwyer and Wells are still available. Don’t be shocked if one running back is added and don’t be surprised if there are two added in the coming days.