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New York Giants RB Andre Brown’s Return Could Boost Flagging Run Game

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Andre Brown hasn't played in a game in 2013, but he could hold one of the keys to getting the New York Giants' sputtering running game back on track.

Brown has been on the Giants' injured reserve-designated for return list since breaking his leg in the preseason game, but he's eyeing a return after Big Blue returns from its bye next week.

His injury in the final preseason game against the New England Patriots left the backfield a mess, one that hasn't really been cleaned up since. Brown's injury forced second-year man David Wilson into the role of featured back, a role he proved to be not ready for even before suffering a neck injury and missing time of his own.

Since then? Saying the Giants backfield has been unsettled would be an insult to the entire unsettled community. Brandon Jacobs has started a game. Da'Rel Scott has started a game. Michael Cox has started a game. Peyton Hills got dusted off the league's recycling bin and started in last week's win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hillis has been back in the NFL for two weeks after he completed a stunning fall from grace that saw him go from gracing the cover of the Madden NFL video game to being cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in training camp this fall.

He's gained 106 yards in two weeks on 38 carries, a whopping 2.8 yards per carry ... and is now third on the club in rushing yards.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 New York Giants running back corps! Donations freely accepted.

New York is averaging 69.9 yards per game this season, good for 29th in the NFL. Yes, shockingly, there are three teams out there who are even worse at running with the football than the Giants-thank you for being such good sports Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons.

Andre Brown has had a star-crossed career, to be sure. A fourth-round draft pick of the Giants in 2009, Brown played for four different teams in 2010 (the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins) before returning to New York in 2011.

But he didn't get his first carry as a Giants until 2012, enjoying a breakout performance on a Thursday night game against the Panthers in September 2012 when he rushed for 113 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns.

He saw spot duty after that before breaking his leg for the first time in a win over the Green Bay Packers last November. That was the same leg he broke this preseason.

Brown said he will wear a protective shin guard to prevent another similar break, according to the New York Daily News.

Any news not involving another running back getting hurt is good news for the Giants.

But for a guy like Andre Brown who keeps fighting through the bad breaks, it's particularly good news, made even better by the fact that he'll help the club on the field in a big way.

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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