Concerns about David Wilson’s neck injury may prevent the New York Giants running back from returning to the field, forcing a premature end to his budding career.
Wilson, who missed most of the 2013 NFL season with a neck injury, was cleared to return to practice last week after recovering from offseason spinal fusion surgery. But the 23-year-old left practice on Tuesday with a “burner” in his neck, the team's coach, Tom Coughlin said, raising doubts about whether Wilson can continue playing football.
Speaking under condition of anonymity, a source familiar with Wilson’s medical situation told the New Jersey Star-Ledger on Thursday that Wilson “needs a miracle” to be cleared to play football again. Meanwhile, a second anonymous source said the Giants are concerned about the severity of Wilson’s condition, despite the fact that the running back tweeted on Wednesday that he was “fine.”
“Left practice early [Tuesday] but everything turned out to be fine once the Dr. Looked @ me plus I passed all physical examination,” he wrote on Twitter. Wilson will meet with spinal specialist on Monday for an official examination that will determine the severity of his injury.
Wilson's situation, coupled with the high-contact nature of the running back position, has forced the Giants to seek alternative options for the 2014 season. To that end, the franchise bolstered its backfield by signing former Oakland Raiders workhorse Rashad Jennings and drafting Boston College standout Andre Williams.
If Wilson is unable to return to action, Coughlin has indicated that the Giants will use a running-back-by-committee system to replace him. “I think we have some talented guys at that spot,” the Giants coach told the Star-Ledger. “I think Rashad has done well. I think the young kid (Williams) has come along the more we have given him to do. Michael Cox has had his spots.
"(First-year pro Kendall) Gaskins did some pretty good things today. We’ll let this thing play out. It’ll be some kind of combination of people involved. They’ll have plenty of opportunities in the preseason to show us what they can do and where they fit."