After working out several running backs on Tuesday, the New York Giants will sign Peyton Hillis to bolster a banged up running back group. David Wilson is out indefinitely with a neck injury. Da’Rel Scott, who was waived this week, had been dealing with a hamstring issue. Brandon Jacobs, who was coming off a decent performance against the Chicago Bears, has also been dealing with a hamstring issue. That leaves Michael Cox, a seventh round draft pick back in April, as the only healthy back.
Hillis was once one of the more exciting players in the NFL when he was with the Cleveland Browns. In 2010, he rushed for 11 touchdowns and 1,117 yards and was selected by fans to be on the cover of the 2011 Madden football video game. His career hasn’t been the same since as injuries derailed his 2011 campaign, rushing for 587 yards in only 10 games.
In 2012, the Kansas City Chiefs signed Hillis but he had only 309 yards on 85 carries and one touchdown. He then moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2013 season but was cut on September 21st after only being active for one game but failing to see the field.
Right now, it isn’t clear how much Hillis has in the tank. He showed a ton of promise with the Browns but injuries have seemingly sapped much of that. The Giants don’t expect Hillis to suddenly regain his form from the 2010 season because that is unrealistic. In fact, there is a chance that Hillis never carries the football for the Giants.
Right now, Hillis is just a warm body. If Jacobs is healthy he will be the main back and Cox should see some time as the change of pace back. However, given what has gone on with the running back position for the Giants this season Hillis could be forced into action as early as Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. That would be a worst case scenario because Hillis won’t be well-versed in the offense.
Hillis is a bandage on a wound. The Giants hope he can help the injury heal but once it is healed Hillis could be discarded. In the meantime, Hillis hopes to prove to another team that he more than a bandage and can make a contribution as a member of their football team. Right now, the Giants have to hope Hillis never sees the field but if he does they get some good football out of him.