Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Andre Brown should play vs. Raiders
By Kieran Darcy
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Andre Brown is eligible to return to action when the New York Giants host the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 10, and running backs coach Jerald Ingram believes Brown will play.
"I'm very confident," Ingram said Tuesday. "I think he's practiced well in the last few weeks. He's eager to get out there. He's a competitor and he's gone through an awful lot and he has a lot of pain in his heart and I think he'll be ready to go."
Brown has been on short-term injured reserve since breaking his left leg in the Giants' final preseason game, but has been practicing with the team since Oct. 17. Ingram is eager to get him back on the field.
"Andre is definitely going to fit in," Ingram said. "We had plans for him before he got hurt. He's very athletic. He catches the ball well out of the backfield and he runs the ball well and he's got good speed. He's that multipurpose back that can do a lot of things in first, second down and third down."
Brown was supposed to be part of a two-headed monster at running back this season, along with second-year pro David Wilson. But Brown has missed the entire season, and Wilson suffered a neck injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 and has been out since.
"He's still day-to-day and I think early next week he's going to have some more tests to see where things have progressed to," general manager Jerry Reese said Tuesday, of Wilson, "and we'll make some decisions as we move forward with him."
Because of the injuries to Brown and Wilson, the Giants have had five different starting running backs in the first eight weeks of the season.
Brandon Jacobs, who wasn't even on an NFL roster at the start of the year, is the team's leading rusher, but has just 154 yards. Wilson (146 yards), Peyton Hillis (106), Da'Rel Scott (73) and Michael Cox (42) have all gotten at least one start as well.
It all adds up to the 29th-ranked running game in the league. The Giants are averaging just 69.9 rushing yards per contest.
Brown could certainly provide a boost -- in 10 games last year, he had 73 carries for 385 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. But he may not get the bulk of the carries, at least right away.
"You look at the New Orleans Saints a few years ago, they played four running backs. And it works," Ingram said. "Once you figure out what they do best and how it works with your quarterback, you can get it done. I think that's what we'll continue to do as these guys come back. They'll all have a role."
Scott was waived two weeks ago, and Jacobs has missed the team's past two games with a hamstring injury. But Jacobs could be ready for the Raiders, along with Hillis and Cox.
We'll see how it all shakes out, but Ingram likes his group.
"What's great about my room as far as running backs, we all have something to prove," Ingram said. "You've got a bunch of guys that are trying to prove that they exist in the NFL, they exist on this team, that they have worth to contribute and you couldn't ask for anything more than that."