Back in the preseason, the door opened for Wilson when Andre Brown went down with a broken leg. Wilson would have likely started anyway, but after Brown got hurt, all signs pointed to Wilson carrying the load. He provided one of the few highlights of the preseason when broke off an 84-yard touchdown run against the New York Jets.
The Giants drafted Wilson 32nd in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. In his rookie campaign, Wilson struggled to adjust to some of the NFL’s nuances like reading defenses and pass blocking. However, after Ahmad Bradshaw and Brown fell to injuries, Wilson was inserted into the lineup and showed glimpses of his big-play ability. In the offseason, the Giants parted ways with Bradshaw, as they planned on grooming Wilson as their feature back.
Unfortunately for the Giants, this year’s plan for Wilson veered wildly off course.
In the opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Wilson was relegated to the bench after two costly fumbles, as the Giants fell 36-31. He finished with just 19 yards on seven carries and no catches out of the backfield.
After the loss to Dallas, it was clear the coaching staff was not ready to put their trust back into Wilson. New York signed Brandon Jacobs before their Week 2 matchup at home against the Denver Broncos.
In his next two outings, against the Broncos and Carolina Panthers, Wilson combined for 56 rushing yards on 18 carries. He went both of those games without a single reception, as well.
The next week in Kansas City was Wilson’s best game of the year. He carried the football 13 times for 55 yards. He also caught two passes for eight yards. Allow me to repeat: This was Wilson’s best game of the season.
New York’s following game at home against the Eagles looked like it could be Wilson’s coming out party. He had been improving each week and it seemed like he was on the verge of breaking loose. Wilson capped off the Giants first drive with a five-yard touchdown run, his first of the season. He did two back flips, clearly letting off some frustration of not getting into the end zone before that point.
On New York’s third drive, Wilson hurt his neck when he was stuffed for a three-yard loss. He exited the game and did not return. He finished with 16 yards on six carries and the one touchdown.
Wilson’s injury turned out to be more serious than the Giants initially expected, as the Eagles game marked Wilson’s last game-action of 2013. Overall, Wilson’s season will be one to forget. However, his future in New York is far from over. If the Giants can repair their battered offensive line in the offseason, Wilson could be in for a big 2014.