New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw has a cracked bone in his right foot and is considering surgery that could potentially be season-ending and possibly devastating to fantasy owners, according to sources.
Bradshaw suffered the injury in his right foot in the third quarter of the Giants' 20-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, then left the game to get X-rays. He returned in the fourth quarter after the X-rays showed no structural damage and the injury was just an aggravation.
The fifth-year running back developed a crack in the fifth metatarsal bone of each foot in 2009, but played through the pain to rush for 778 yards in 15 games. He had offseason surgery to put a screw in each foot, as well as to repair bone spurs from his right ankle. He returned in 2010 and ran for a career-high 1,235 yards and eight touchdowns.
It's unclear at this point how long Bradshaw will be sidelined.
The Newark-Star Ledger reported that a source informed of his injury said he is out indefinitely and that he has been telling his teammates he might only be out for two weeks.
The New York Daily News reported a team source said it will be several weeks, at least before Bradshaw is back.
However, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the injury is not considered serious and that Bradshaw should play Sunday against the Patriots. The source also said that surgery will not be necessary, and coach Tom Coughlin said no decision has been made regarding the need for surgery at some point.
Nevertheless, if Bradshaw does decide to undergo surgery, the timetable will most likely be longer than just a game or two weeks.
Whether or not Bradshaw plays this Sunday against the New England Patriots, disgruntled backup running back Brandon Jacobs will carry most of the load. Jacobs has struggled this season and was booed in the game against Miami because he gained only 10 yards on four carries. Despite his performance, Jacobs vowed earlier this week that he would change and score more touchdowns going forward.
Third-running back D.J. Ware (45 yards on 14 carries this season) should see an increased workload too, especially in passing situations and as a receiver out of the backfield.
Bradshaw has suffered foot injuries in the past and played through them. After Sunday's game against the Dolphins, he even said that he thinks the injury will be fine. But all signs point to him being lost sooner or later.
Bradshaw hasn't run for many yards this season (just 440), but he is an asset in the passing game. He's a good receiver out of the backfield and is regarded as one of the very best running backs in the league in blitz pickup and pass protection. The Giants will have to replace more than his rushing yards if he has to miss significant time.
Also, with the schedule getting much more difficult the rest of the way, the Giants aren't going to get by running the ball as ineffectively as they have so far and asking Eli Manning to carry the offense. At the same time, because the Giants have been running the ball so ineffectively and are still 5-2, they can still win without Bradshaw, though it will be a little tougher.