The Giants’ depth chart currently has two players listed as their starting tailback, but only one of Andre Brown or David Wilson will be on the field for the first snap against the Cowboys on September 8.
During an appearance on ESPN Radio on Friday, General Manager Jerry Reese said that Wilson, the team’s first-round pick in 2012, would be that player.
“We expect [Wilson] to be our starter, and be in the backfield with Andre Brown, who had a terrific season going last year until he got hurt,” Reese said. “[Brown's] had the injury bug a little bit since he’s been in the league. But if he can stay healthy, and David Wilson comes on like we expect him too, we think we can have a pretty dynamic backfield.”
It’s not surprising that Wilson wound up with the job. He has a game-breaking gear that Brown doesn’t have and the team didn’t draft him where they did to sit behind a player who has played 14 games in his four NFL seasons.
Starting isn’t everything, though, and the preseason has revealed that the Giants still prefer Brown as a third down back because he is a more capable pass blocker than Wilson. If Wilson can’t pick that part of the game up to the satisfaction of the coaching staff, the split of playing time might be closer than some expect because the Giants will want to avoid both big hits on Eli Manning and the predictability that can come into an offense when defenses know that certain plays are off the board due to the personnel on the field.