The New York Giants opened training camp with some exciting news, as David Wilson had finally returned from his neck injury. After a wash of a 2013 season, Wilson was looking to bounce back and give the Giants some productivity both at running back and on special teams. The happiness was short lived, as Wilson once again injured his neck a week into practice, putting his future back into doubt.
Wilson was forced to leave practice Wednesday with what the team is calling a neck “stinger”. Any injury to the neck area is scary, especially for a player who had spinal-fusion surgery last season to fix the injury. The injury occurred when Wilson received a shovel pass from Curtis Painter, turned up field and ran into the back of his guard, Eric Herman.
Wilson will be sitting out at least the next week, after undergoing a ton of tests following the injury Tuesday. Monday he will be seeing specialist Dr. Frank Cammisa. Cammisa is the same doctor who saw Wilson after his injury in Week 5 last season against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“We were all praying that it would not be an issue, that he would be able to come back and go to work,” head coach Tom Coughlin said Tuesday. “But we’ll see.”
The latest neck injury to Wilson really clouds his future standing with the team. It is hard for the Giants to count on a player that has suffered so many injuries to such a place as his neck.
This in turn will cause the Giants to make difficult decisions when it comes to rounding out their roster. With Wilson healthy, the Giants would have been able to keep an extra defensive back such as Nat Berhe or a young UDFA like Dan Fox or Kelcy Quarles.
They will have to definitely keep at least one, if not two, out of the trio of Peyton Hillis, Michael Cox and Kendall Gaskins. The Giants know they cannot afford to go into the season without capable running backs to avoid a repeat of 2013. Immense pressure will also be put onto starter Rashad Jennings, as one of his backups will be sidelined. Rookie Andre Williams will also have more responsibility now, something that could be detrimental to a player still learning the ropes.
With Wilson now sidelined for the near future, the Giants will be more inclined to keep a specialist, such as return man Trindon Holliday. The Giants have plenty of options to return kicks and punts, but with Wilson’s future once again unclear, keeping a player who specializes in returns is a must.
The roster flexibility the Giants had with Wilson in the fold is now all gone. This could cost them in the long run, as the uncertainty of neck injuries makes this a tricky thing for the Giants to work around. It is disappointing that Wilson has been injured again, as his most recent injury handcuffs the moves the Giants can make to their roster and they will be without one of their most explosive athletes once again.