EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – In his unique way, David Wilson said today all that stands between him and a return to the football field is an MRI that will convince his doctors he is healthy enough to play.
Of course, the story is more complex than that. Wilson missed the last 11 games of the 2013 season after suffering a neck injury vs. Philadelphia on Oct. 6 that forced him to go on injured reserve. On Jan. 16, he underwent surgery, a fusion of the vertebrae to repair the herniated disc in his neck.
The Giants have hoped for the best for their 2012 first-round draft choice, but have not offered a definitive prognosis because of the significance and placement of the injury. No one will take a risk with a neck issue.
But Wilson is eager to return to the field and said he “wants to” and “expects to” be cleared for the Giants’ organized team activities and minicamp. He just needs an MRI that will prompt a doctor to tell Wilson, “Go play.”
“We're just waiting for the picture we need,” Wilson said.
Wilson said no one advised him to stay on the sideline. Asked if he is worried that he’s taking a risk, he said, “no, not at all.” Questioned whether the injury could re-occur, he said, “Freak of nature, anything can happen again.”
One reason Wilson is likely so calm and confident is that his neck never hurt.
“I never had pain from the injury, even after it happened, the day after it happened, the moment after it happened,” he said. “I’m in the locker room telling the coaches, ‘Let me go back out there, I don’t feel anything.’ I snuck out on the field and was removed.
If Wilson returns to the field, he will likely be one of the Giants’ most dynamic weapons. As a rookie, he set a Giants’ single-season record with 1,533 kickoff return yards and rushed for 358 yards and four touchdowns. Wilson and recently-signed Rashad Jennings could team to give the Giants a vastly improved backfield.
“As far as a one-two punch, that’s something we’re going to strive to become,” Jennings said. “He brings an element to the game that’s unique and special. I think every other running back brings something unique and special to this offense. We’ll see how time plays itself out, but I definitely want every running back to contribute as much as they possibly can.”
“Both of us can be an every down back, but the way the game is today, it’s not going to be one guy,” Wilson said. “There are very few teams that have one running back that’s always in there.”
After missing most of last season, Wilson wants a chance to be back out there for the Giants.
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