EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants running back David Wilson left Tuesday's practice with what coach Tom Coughlin called a "burner" -- an alarming diagnosis for a player who only last week was cleared to return to the field following neck surgery.
"We were all praying that it would not be an issue, that he would be able to come back and go to work," Coughlin said. "But we'll see."
A team spokesman said Wilson was taken for tests, but the team didn't expect any update on Tuesday.
"Given his history, David has been sent over to Hospital for Special Surgery for a battery of tests and a complete workup to determine the effects of the burner he suffered today," the spokesman said in a statement.
According to the team's daily practice report, Wilson "caught a shovel pass from Curtis Painter, turned upfield with his head down and ran into the back of guard Eric Herman. Wilson was surrounded by several defensive players and when the scrum separated, linebacker Mark Herzlich had the football and two athletic trainers were running toward Wilson."
Wilson left the Giants' Week 5 loss vs. Philadelphia last year with a burner and ended up missing the remainder of the season and having spinal fusion surgery to correct a disk problem in his neck. It's possible that this injury isn't that severe, but given that it's the neck again, it's a troubling sign for Wilson and the Giants.
Wilson was excited July 21 when doctors finally told him he had been cleared for contact, and he has been practicing as normal with the team.
Wilson was the Giants' first-round pick in the 2012 draft and was one of the top kick returners in the league as a rookie. But given the starting running back's job in 2013, he struggled out of the gate. He fumbled twice in the season opener in Dallas and was benched. Once he returned to form, he hurt himself in Week 5 and hasn't played since.
The Giants' plans for Wilson this year, if he's healthy, are to pick up some of the backfield load along with Rashad Jennings, Peyton Hillis and possibly rookie Andre Williams. They said all offseason that they were prepared in case Wilson wasn't cleared for a return, but there's little doubt they believe their offense would be better with him in it.