New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw did not practice with the team Wednesday and was listed on the injury report with a foot injury. The reason this is alarming, as Giants fans know, is that Bradshaw has a bad history of foot injuries, and Giants coach Tom Coughlin told reporters at his Wednesday news conference that this was "the same type of thing" he's had in the past. Coughlin did say Bradshaw would practice Thursday, which is an encouraging sign that the injury is not as bad as it was last year, when it cost him four games.
Bradshaw is as tough a player as there is, and he'll surely be able to play through the injury as he did late last year. But it has not shown itself to be the kind of injury that gets better as the season goes along. This leads to questions about Bradshaw's workload going forward. He's been very productive over the past two weeks, rushing for 200 yards on 30 carries two weeks ago and against Cleveland and 116 yards on 27 carries Sunday in San Francisco. After topping 100 yards in a game only once this season, it appeared Bradshaw was poised to make good on his pledge to take over bell-cow running back duties for the Giants this year. His rushing attempt totals from the past two games are the two highest single-game totals of his NFL career.
Going forward, if history is any indication and if the foot injury does linger, the Giants will have to limit Bradshaw's carries. Andre Brown has been cleared to practice again after missing two games due to a concussion, and that's a good thing for the Giants' backfield. Because as explosive and fun as rookie David Wilson is, they still don't fully trust him in pass protection. It also will help the offense that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is getting healthier. Nicks practiced Wednesday, and it was the first time he's practiced on a Wednesday all season after injuring his foot in minicamp.
So the Giants will still have plenty of weapons even if they have to limit Bradshaw's touches. The shame of this is that the run game was beginning to thrive behind an improved offensive line and with Bradshaw as the every-down guy. Now, they may have to make some changes they didn't want to make.