Having made the fewest rushing attempts in the NFL so far (70) over four games and ranking 30th running the ball, the New York Giants‘ decision to release their franchise running back in the offseason was inevitably going to come under fire.
The two go hand in hand. After the emergence of David Wilson at the back end of the 2012 season and given Ahmad Bradshaw‘s repetitive injury woes, the Giants saw an opportunity to cut their losses. After six seasons in New York, Bradshaw had never completed a full season free of injury; the most starts he made in a single season was 11 back in 2010.
Nevertheless, his departure was bound to tug on the heartstrings of the majority of the Big Blue faithful, given his unquestionable commitment to the cause and battling mentality. Then of course, there is the rather sizable matter of that infamous sit-down touchdown that secured victory in Super Bowl 46.
Those kind of memories don’t fade easily, thus it became difficult to cut the cord at the end of his six-year tenure.
As is often the way it is, the good memories that remain fresh over the difficult ones. With visions of that memorable touchdown and his complimentary double-act with Brandon Jacobs taking prominence, many supporters negated to remember the constant injury woes, especially with his feet, which at the end of the day are imperative to his position.
Alas, when David Wilson began the season in calamitous fashion, it added fuel to the fires of those who still clamored for their previous running back. Wilson has struggled for yardage and has shown the same persistent issues over ball protection that arose in his rookie season.
Fans have yet to see his explosiveness that we’ve been sold on, and Wilson remains touchdown-less in 2013. The concerning form of their no. 1 back, along with a long-lasting injury to Andre Brown, even forced the Giants into turning their hand back to Brandon Jacobs, a move which positively reeked of desperation.
Those still championing Bradshaw’s cause were beginning to afford themselves a little smug satisfaction after the pocket rocket had consecutive big games for the Indianapolis Colts in Weeks 2 and 3 of this season, running for 65 yards and touchdown against the Miami Dolphins before a huge game against the San Francisco 49ers,
111 all-purpose yards and a touchdown against one of the league’s top defenses — all of this making Wilson seem obsolete.
It may have taken until Week 5, but it now seems Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin were right all along. News is circulating of Bradshaw facing “the possibility of a season-ending neck injury”, according to the Indianapolis Star, and it seems regular service has resumed.
The Colts had already made a preemptive trade for Trent Richardson prior to this news, and they will evidently be looking to move forward with the former third-overall draft pick in the future.
Whether the GM and head coach were right to run with Wilson as their starter is another matter entirely, although the release of his closest competition Da’Rel Scott does indicate their willingness to back their initial instincts long-term.
With only rookie Michael Cox and the seemingly over-the-hill Jacobs as alternatives, the best thing the Giants’ supporters can hope for right now is that Brown makes it off the short term injured-reserve unscathed and becomes eligible for return following the G-Men’s bye in Week 9.