COMMENTARY | The bye week came at an opportune time for the battered New York Giants, but running back David Wilson is still on the sidelines as Big Blue prepares to host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
According to the New York Daily News, Wilson's return from a herniated disc and spinal stenosis has been delayed for "several weeks."
Wilson has missed the last three games and the Giants said he's made "significant improvement," but won't be cleared to play for awhile yet.
Wilson, the team's first-round pick out of Virginia Tech in 2012, won the starting running back job in training camp, lost it briefly because of fumbling concerns then was hurt shortly after being reinstated.
He has just 146 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries this year, a total that is somehow good enough for second on the roster.
Of course, given that the Giants average just 69.9 yards a game on the ground, maybe it's not that big a surprise after all.
One of the players who came back from the week off feeling better was running back Brandon Jacobs. The big back had been out with a hamstring injury, but is listed as probable for Sunday and is participating in practice. Jacobs is the leading rusher on the ballclub with 154 yards on 44 carries and also leads the team with three rushing scores.
To put Jacobs' team-leading rushing total into perspective, there have been four running backs this year who have rushed for at least 154 yards in a single game:
· LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, 31 carries, 184 yards against Washington (Sept. 9).
· DeMarco Murray, Dallas, 26 carries, 175 yards against St. Louis (Sept. 22).
· Mike James, Tampa Bay, 28 carries, 158 yards against Seattle (Nov. 3).
· McCoy, 20 carries, 158 yards against Kansas City (Sept. 19).
· Andre Ellington, Arizona, 15 carries, 154 yards against Atlanta (Oct. 27).
If that didn't illustrate the futility of New York's ground attack this season, here's another list:
· Adrian Peterson, Minnesota, 153 carries, 711 yards
· McCoy, 168 carries, 777 yards
· Alfred Morris, Washington, 133 carries, 686 yards
· Eddie Lacy, Green Bay, 134 carries, 596 yards
· Matt Forte, Chicago, 140 carries, 658 yards
· Marshawn Lynch, Seattle, 167 carries, 726 yards
· Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, 170 carries, 725 yards
· Frank Gore, San Francisco, 146 carries, 618 yards
· Doug Martin, Tampa Bay, 127 carries, 456 yards
· Reggie Bush, Detroit, 119 carries, 518 yards
If you guessed this list was the running backs in the NFL this season that are averaging more yards per game than the Giants as a team, you win a prize (this column is yours to read for free).
A healthy David Wilson would give the Giants a boost, because what he brings that no other back on the current roster has is the home-run threat. Wilson has breakaway speed. That's something neither Jacobs nor Peyton Hillis has ever really had and certainly not now that they have several thousand career yards on their treads.
Still, the Giants came back from the bye much healthier than when they entered it. Trailing the Dallas Cowboys by two in the loss column with eight games to play, the Big Blue will need all hands on deck if it hopes to make another second-half surge.
Phil Watson is a freelance commentator and journalist who covers the New York Giants, New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is also editor of Golden Gate Sports and holds an editorial position at HoopsHabit.com.
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