Today has a chance to be a big day for New York Giants running back David Wilson. He told us last week that the next scheduled checkup for his surgically repaired neck would be June 4, which is today. Wilson's hope is that he gets cleared by his doctor for contact, which is the last hurdle he has to clear before getting back on the field. If this next round of tests doesn't show the required improvement, Wilson's status remains in limbo and the Giants have to continue to confront the idea of playing without their 2012 first-round pick this season. If it does, there is a good chance they have a full-strength backfield for this month's minicamp and for training camp.
The Giants guarded against the possibility that Wilson wouldn't be cleared when they signed Rashad Jennings and re-signed Peyton Hillis in free agency. They also drafted Andre Williams in the fourth round and believe 2013 seventh-rounder Michael Cox can be more of a factor on offense this year. They have loads of depth at running back. And given the injury issues they dealt with at the position last season, that is a wise approach.
But Wilson offers something extra. Of all of the Giants' running backs, none has Wilson's speed and big-play ability. If he is healthy, the Giants will find ways to get him the ball and make plays with it. Jennings was signed to be a workhorse back, and Williams was drafted because they believe they could plug him right in if need dictated it and he could pick up tough yards up the middle. But the Giants have always seen Wilson as a player of special ability -- the kind for whom they would make room in their offense even among other qualified running backs.
The Giants and Wilson have been optimistic for months that Wilson would be cleared to play in 2014. Today could go a long way toward determining whether that optimism was justified.