David Wilson, as the Giants were publicly hoping, has been “cleared for everything” months after spinal fusion surgery left him at full speed but waiting for a doctor’s approval. And now, we don’t need to keep riding this roller coaster a little longer.
“No, the doctor said that I was good to go,” noted Wilson. “I’m back to normal. I can play regular football with no special equipment, no medication, or anything else.”
Wilson has been up and down so much over his first two seasons — Tom Coughlin’s doghouse to explosive kick returner to every-down back to chronic fumbler to injury casualty — it’s easy to forget he’s just 23-years-old. The void created by not actually seeing him on the field has been filled with projections of what he might be, of what Giants fans fear or hope he is.
”I just want to get back into it and go out and have fun and enjoy the game,” stated Wilson. “I think a lot of time guys forget to enjoy the game while they’re playing it. The only time you can enjoy it is when you’re playing well. You can prepare and do all the things you can to prepare and play well. That way you can have fun.”
Wilson has averaged about 5.2 yards per touch for his career, a number that places him roughly in line with LeSean McCoy, and his 1,533 kickoff return yards as a rookie led the league. As for those pesky fumbles: Including special teams work, Wilson has 187 touches for his career, and he’s fumbled three times. For comparison, Andre Brown fumbled three times last season on 159 touches. Other than Wilson’s debut against Philly and the disaster against Dallas, he’s been clean. The Giants running back picked some particularly awful times to put the ball on the ground, but don’t make it into something it isn’t.
So what exactly do we make of him going forward? There aren’t that many guys capable of making NFL defenders look like pedestrians, and Wilson is one of them, and new coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system — predicated on getting playmakers in space quickly — would seem to be a nice fit.
But perhaps the biggest reason for optimism is simply that it all won’t be on him. Heading into 2013, with Ahmad Bradshaw gone and Andre Brown sidelined with an injury, Wilson was plans A through F, and eventually we were all stuck watching the Peyton Hillis Experience. Now Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams are in tow, with second-year back Michael Cox hopefully improving on a moderately promising rookie year, and all Wilson has to do is be one more weapon for Eli and McAdoo to play with.
There probably won’t be a feature guy in the backfield for New York, but that’s just fine when you have three or four different skill sets. Give him 100-150 touches behind a better offensive line and a more creative playcaller, and the Giants should finally be able to see what they have.