Andre Brown had earned his way into a roughly even-split of the workload with fellow New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw, but that all ended last night when Brown broke his leg after picking up 58 yards and a touchdown on ten carries.
Or did it?
A report this morning suggests his season may not quite be over, so with a little help from Jenny Vrentas at NJ.com let's take a look at the whole situation.
Is Brown's season definitely over?
Vrentas reports that a source "briefed on Brown's status" says that tests today will determine whether or not his season is over. Brown also Tweeted "People, the season not over yet!!!" and "Minor setback for a major come up" after the game last night.
We suppose it's possible a minor break could heal in a month, allowing him an outside shot at being back on the field for the first or second playoff game…but we're not holding our breath.
The next few days will tell the story: Brown could be on injured reserve by this afternoon and the Giants will have a new running back in practice on Wednesday…but if he isn't placed on IR this week that's a pretty good indicator the Giants think he'll have a shot to return and are willing to wait a few weeks to see how the leg starts to heal.
Who will replace Brown?
Whether he's able to make it back in six weeks or not, the Giants are going to need a fresh body at the position (remember, Da'Rell Scott is already on IR). The Giants can scan practice squads and waiver wires for intriguing running backs, but at this point in the season it's more likely the Giants go with a veteran who they think can pick things up quickly.
Those four guys and practice squadder Joe Martinek are front-runners for the job.
Who picks up the carries?
This is a pretty easy question, seeing as there are only two guys left. Ahmad Bradshaw's workload will again increase to near-workhorse levels and the Giants will have no choice but to make rookie David Wilson the #2. Until they sign another body and get him ready to play, these two guys will have to get the job done.
Bradshaw looked like the week off did him some good, as he ran noticeably hard on Sunday night and told Vrentas he felt "more explosive" and was "thankful to be out there playing with some health." The Giants will need to hope he stays this healthy.
Wilson finally got some action out of the backfield in garbage time last night, and it looks like a warmup for more to come. And, as Bradshaw points out, it's not exactly unprecedented for a rookie running back to step up onto the big stage midseason.
But as a rookie, I told David, D-Ward broke his fibula, and I had to step in and be a big part of our offense. And that’s what I expect from David. I just told him to get right and get ready for the following weeks to come.
Is this something the Giants can overcome?
One one hand, we don't want to minimize how big a loss this would be to the Giants: Brown was the only Giants RB who brought a full complement of health, trust and capability to the field every week. It's a huge blow to have lost him.
At the end of the day, overcoming Brown's injury probably has a lot more to do with how good a job the offensive line does paving the way for whoever ends up running the ball than anything else.
Also…Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, David Wilson, Football, Joe Martinek, Joseph Addai, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Super Bowl