Prior to the start of the 2013 NFL season, the New York Giants had plans on grooming David Wilson into the team’s starting running back, while Andre Brown would serve as a complementary back. In the aftermath of the events that have transpired this year, the Giants are going to need to rethink their original game plan.
Brown ended up fracturing his leg in the preseason, which left the door open for Wilson to get a serious grip on the starting position for the not-so-distant future. Instead, Wilson literally coughed up his opportunity, landing himself on the bench for the second half of the season opener due to two costly fumbles. The Giants gave Wilson more chances to establish himself, but he couldn’t find his footing. He suffered an injured neck in Week 5 that would sideline him for the rest of the year.
The Giants drafted Wilson in the first round of the 2013 draft; he made a splash on special teams in his rookie campaign and provided sporadic glimpses of his big-play potential out of the backfield. It’s way too early for New York to give up on Wilson, but he may need to assume a different role next season.
At the other end of the spectrum, Brown has stamped an exclamation point on his return this year. He’s rushed for 343 yards and scored three touchdowns in just four games this season. Also, Brown has proven to be a better receiver out of the backfield, as well as a more dependable blocker in passing situations.
Heading into next season, New York should focus their rushing attack around Brown and let Wilson complement him, instead of the other way around. This will also allow Wilson to return to special teams, where he can be a difference maker returning kicks. It’s a nice problem to have two young running backs to choose from; now the Giants simply need to make the right decision about splitting up playing time between them.