The New York Giants received some more bad news regarding their running backs Wednesday, as Peyton Hillis hurt his ankle. Head coach Tom Coughlin did not seem confident that Hillis would make a quick return, saying it looks like it’ll be a little while. This injury leaves the Giants extremely shorthanded in the backfield.
Hillis was right on the roster bubble throughout spring practices and the beginning of training camp, but after David Wilson suffered another neck injury, his roster spot became much more secure. He was expected to be the backup to starter Rashad Jennings, providing some stability in the backfield as the veteran of the bunch.
Hillis’ ability to play on pass downs was something the Giants liked, as Jennings cannot play every down and fourth round pick Andre Williams has very little to offer in the passing game.
The Giants will now be without him for the foreseeable future, as he came up lame in practice Tuesday night, leaving the field early. This leaves the Giants with three inexperienced options behind Jennings in Williams, Kendall Gaskins and Michael Cox.
For now, the Giants seem content to roll with those three behind Jennings as the starter. Coughlin was asked about the possibility of adding a free agent running back, to which he responded, “Right now it’s probably not our thought. But if this thing goes on and on with Hillis, then we would have to do something.”
Williams had an impressive showing in his first NFL action Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame game. He rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, but at the end of the day, it was a game that didn’t count. Cox had only 22 carries as a seventh-round draft pick in 2013, and Gaskins has yet to appear in a regular season game.
Some veteran free agents who are available that the Giants could be interested in are Willis McGahee, Michael Bush or Ronnie Brown. All three are veterans that could replace what the Giants will be losing if Hillis is unable to return in a timely manner.
While the Giants seem intent right now with the running back situation they have, it may have to change sooner than later. Last season, they saw how much of a disaster it was to not go into the regular season with experienced options. The Giants’ season was submarined in 2013 without a running game, and having a repeat of that with a new offense being installed would be detrimental to the team.