The New York Giants‘ re-signing of running back Peyton Hillis may have initially seemed like an effort to add some depth, but look for Hillis to get some serious minutes in 2014.
New York added Hillis in the midst of the 2013 season due to injuries to Andre Brown, David Wilson and Brandon Jacobs. While Hillis didn’t wow or amaze in his role with the Giants, he was a very solid addition at a time when New York was desperate.
In his first two games with the G-Men, Hillis rushed for a total of 106 yards and one touchdown. He was also a factor in the passing game, catching eight passes for 60 yards.
Hillis can be a reliable player for New York. He gives the Giants a powerful runner who knows exactly what his role is. Hillis is a good blocker in the passing game and a downfield-type of back, who runs north-south as opposed to trying to make people miss.
Newly-acquired running back Rashad Jennings is slated to be New York’s starter, which is a new role for him. Jennings has handled the load for teams in the past but he has started each year as a backup. The Giants also have to be a bit concerned about the health of Wilson, who is coming off major neck surgery this offseason.
With a couple of question marks ahead of him on the depth chart, the Giants may rely on Hillis to log some carries. Jennings will carry the bulk of the weight, but don’t be surprised if Hillis gets the ball over Wilson and Michael Cox. As the veteran along the running back unit, Hillis may need to step in in big spots.