New York Giants’ Running Game Now Rests on Legs of Michael Cox and Peyton Hillis
The New York Giants’ running back situation has been in turmoil almost all season long. David Wilson is out for at least a couple of more weeks with a neck injury. Last week, the Giants got their first 100-yard game from Brandon Jacobs but Jacobs is now nursing a hamstring injury. Jacobs’ injury combined with Da’Rel Scott also suffering from a hamstring injury forced GM Jerry Reese to go out and sign Peyton Hillis since Michael Cox, the second to last player taken in the 2013 NFL Draft was the only healthy running back on the roster along with fullback John Conner.
The Giants had hoped Jacobs would be healthy enough to give it a go tonight against the Minnesota Vikings but it looks like Jacobs will be ruled out leaving the running game on the legs of Hillis and Cox. This isn’t exactly encouraging for the Giants who are seeking their first win of the season and might have their best chance to achieve that against the one-win Vikings. However, they will need Cox or Hillis to step up.
Cox does have speed but so far has only contributed in the return game and hasn’t had a carry this season as he has had problems in pass protection. With Conner on the roster, Cox won’t be asked to do much pass protecting but there is a chance he will be called on to do some pass protection.
Hillis was once one of the more exciting running backs in the NFL and his popularity carried him to the cover of EA Sports’ Madden 2011 game. Injuries and ineffectiveness have overcome him in recent years and he has bounced around the league since then.
To make up for the problems in the running game the onus will rest on Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle as the passing game will be expected to take the pressure off of the run game.
So, the Giants’ running game now rests on the legs, hands, and minds of the rookie and the retread. One, or both, will need to step up and show that they are capable of performing at this level. Their auditions begin tonight.