NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning will be pitching the ball to another running back this season. After another neck injury in preseason practice, NY Giants RB David Wilson has been placed in the injured reserve for the season and will likely be done for his career. Two doctors have independently advised that Wilson stop playing football or risk irreparable damage to his neck and spine.
The news is an unexpected blow for the 23 year-old, who had shown much promise in his first two seasons. The 2014-15 NFL season would’ve been Wilson’s third in the league.
Wilson injured his neck early last season, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. He was cleared to play just two weeks ago, seven months after undergoing spinal fusion surgery to repair the damage from his Week 5 injury against the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, last week Wilson suffered a “stinger,” a jolt to the neck and head that leaves parts of the arms and legs tingling and numb. He left the NY Giants’ training camp to be examined by doctors.
The Giants announced Monday that both doctors advised Wilson to stop playing football for good.
To his credit, Wilson is taking the news in stride. In a statement released by the Giants, he said “I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me or pity me,” he said in the team’s release. “I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said “[Wilson] certainly expected for his career to be longer, but sometimes it doesn’t work. The way he expressed it was, ‘God must have something in mind for me. I want no pity. I want no one feeling sorry for me.’ … He said I am an optimistic person by nature and it is going to remain that way. I thought that was a wonderful thing for him to say and a great lesson for all of us.”
Wilson was the NY Giants’ 2012 first-round draft choice out of Virginia Tech. With Wilson no longer available to play, QB Manning will have five running backs to hand-off to: Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, Peyton Hillis, Michael Cox and Kendall Gaskins.