David Wilson Injury: Updates on Giants RB's Recovery from Neck Surgery

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

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Updates from Tuesday July 29

David Wilson left Giants practice with a neck injury, according to NFL: Around the League:

Updates from Monday, July 21

David Wilson took to Instagram to confirm the biggest step in his recovery, with the caption reading: "Just got cleared ..... #cleared for everything now the story continues #pocketrocket"

Jordan Raanan of NJ.com reported on what's next for Wilson:


Updates from Thursday, July 17

Art Stapleton of The Record provides an update on David Wilson's neck injury and recovery:

New York Giants co-owner John Mara recently commented on Wilson's recovery, per Newsday's Tom Rock:


Updates from Monday, June 23

New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese spoke about injured running back David Wilson and how he'll feature with the franchise next season in an interview with WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts (via CBS New York):

We brought in Rashad Jennings and he’s definitely a bell cow type of a running back – he can run it, he can catch it, he can block, he can do everything with it. David Wilson is an explosive player, but first and foremost we’re concerned about his health. We do think all systems are go pretty much for him to be healthy and ready for contact during training camp. We held him out for spring, no contact at all, but unless he has a setback we expect to release him for full contact during the fall. Any time he touches the ball he can go the distance. In this West Coast Offense, we’ll try to get them ball to him in different ways and obviously he’ll help in the return game.


Updates from Tuesday, June 17

David Wilson continues to edge closer to full health following neck surgery, according to Art Stapleton of The Record:


Updates from Wednesday, June 4

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports has the latest news on Wilson:

Art Stapleton of The Record adds more detail:

Wilson also spoke about his health via his Twitter account:

Michael Eisen of Giants.com provided more background on Wilson's neck and recovery:

The Giants’ third-year running back underwent another exam this morning – a CT scan - to gauge the progress on his surgically-repaired neck. And while Wilson wasn’t cleared for full participation, the exam revealed he is progressing to where that could occur next month. 

“There has been significant progress and healing since David had the fusion,” said Dr. Russell Warren, the Giants’ team physician. “But the reality is it has only been four and one-half months since the surgery. We anticipate that when David is re-evaluated at the start of training camp he will be cleared at that point.” 

“Everything I got this morning was good news – there was nothing bad or negative,” Wilson said. “I’m very pleased and very blessed for my healing process to continue.” 


Updates from Thursday, May 29

Tom Rock of Newsday passed along an update on David Wilson's status as he tries to recover from neck surgery:

Wilson later discussed his recovery and the next step in the process, via Dan Graziano of ESPN:

Kieran Darcy of ESPN added more on the running back:

Wilson watched the offense from the sideline -- the only activity he participated in was fielding punts at the beginning of practice. He says he feels "no pain at all" yet has not been cleared for contact.

"He's out there running, feels good," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "You'd never know it, that he's had an issue."

The next step for Wilson is another MRI on June 4. If the exam comes back clean, Wilson could join his teammates for the rest of OTAs and the mandatory minicamp in mid-June.

If it doesn't, the Giants and their 2012 first-round draft pick will just have to wait, as there's nothing he can do to rehab the injury other than rest.

Wilson was in good spirits speaking to reporters following Thursday's practice, but he acknowledged being nervous about next week's doctor's appointment.

"Just pray before I go in," Wilson said. "And after that, it's out of my hands."


Updates from Wednesday, May 28

Art Stapleton of The Record passed along the latest in David Wilson's recovery:


Updates from Friday, May 9

Newsday's Tom Rock has an update on Wilson's status:


Updates from Thursday, May 1

Art Stapleton of The Record has the latest on Wilson's status:


Updates from Sunday, April 20

Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports the Giants are encouraged with David Wilson's progress following offseason neck surgery:

Wilson is still on the team, and if the 2012 first-round draft pick shows he's recovered from neck surgery, there is surely going to be a role for a player with his skills. The Giants are hearing good things about Wilson's recovery, but they know they can't count on him, so they signed Jennings and brought back Peyton Hillis in order to construct a backfield in case Wilson can't be a part of it.


Original Text

Although it's still not a guarantee that New York Giants running back David Wilson will return to the field next season, there's a growing sense of confidence in his ability to play football again. 

Jordan Raanan of NJ.com reports Wilson is making progress in his recovery from a career-threatening neck injury. The 23-year-old back hasn't been cleared to return, but Giants head coach Tom Coughlin noted the improvement:

He's making outstanding progress whenever I see him. I just tell David, 'Slow down now and just stay with everything they tell you that you can and can not do.' He's been working on his legs for a month or more.

Wilson showed promise as a rookie in 2012 after the Giants drafted him in the first round. The Virginia Tech product averaged five yards per carry as part of the running back rotation and also served as the team's kick returner, taking one kickoff back for a touchdown.

He was on track for a bigger offensive role last season, potentially even emerging as the Giants' clear lead back. But a couple of lost fumbles early in the campaign prevented him from taking full advantage of that opportunity, and then he got injured.

At that point, the focus shifted from his role in New York's backfield to getting healthy. After a period of uncertainty regarding his future, especially given the nature of the position, it appears he's trending in the right direction.

Exactly what role Wilson would play—assuming he returns to full strength and gets clear—remains unknown. As Tom Rock of Newsday notes, the roles the back had previously held have been seemingly filled by other players:

Coughlin did mention that Wilson is a "superb" kickoff returner, which could be a hint at his diminished projected role as a running back. But even that won’t be a sure thing, certainly not with the additions of returners Quintin Demps and Trindon Holliday. And it's yet another part of Wilson’s game that the Giants seem unwilling to throw him back into.

Rashad Jennings sits atop the backfield depth chart with Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox also battling for touches once training camp begins. At his best, Wilson possesses the most natural talent of that group, but his injury status makes things more difficult to project.

Coughlin is seemingly taking the stance of waiting until Wilson is officially back in the fold before laying out any type of usage plan. That's probably a wise move by the veteran coach considering the remaining uncertainty.

Should Wilson return to the field and showcase the same type of ability he did as a rookie, the Giants will find a way to use him one way or another. He may never become a feature back, but the talent is there for him to make an impact.

As for now, the recovery process continues.



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