The last thing people remember about Hillis was becoming a bust following his breakout 2010 season for the Cleveland Browns where he rushed for over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns and generated such popularity, he graced the cover of Madden 12; which some feel is the reason of his downfall, as he could be another player fallen victim of the "Madden curse"
Since his 2010 season, he had 587 yards and three touchdowns for the Browns in 2011 and then 309 yards and one touchdown in 2012 with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hiliis was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first three weeks of the season, but was released in late September and waited almost a month before being picked up by the Giants.
Hillis beat out former Giant running backs Danny Ware and Ryan Torain in the running back workouts the team held on Tuesday and on Thursday, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin told Dan Graziano of ESPN New York about how much Hillis impressed the coaching staff and was able to land a spot with the team.
"He's a bigger back. He caught the ball very well in the workout. He's a veteran football player," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We know he can handle the first-down and second-down stuff, and hopefully he won't be too hard-pressed to pick up the third-down stuff as well."
In Kansas City, Hillis spent time behind Jamaal Charles and he thought he would be the insurance back in case he got hurt in 2012, but that never happened. In 2013, Hillis was the insurance back behind Doug Martin, who also, has shown no signs of slowing down and because Hillis fell down the depth chart and out of favor, it lead to his release from Tampa Bay. With the Giants, he's likely more than just an insurance back, as injuries have depleted the team's running back depth.
Brandon Jacobs was bothered by a hamstring injury but returned to practice for the team on Thursday, David Wilson is out with a neck injury and could miss the rest of the season if his condition doesn't get any better, Andre Brown is still on the temporary injured reserve with a leg injury and Da'Rel Scott is on season-ending injured reserve with a hamstring injury, and the only player left is rookie Michael Cox, who has yet to take a single carry for the team in the first six games.
Hillis never thought he would get the call from the Giants as he thought about what his next move in the NFL would be after being at home for the last four weeks, but is really looking forward to making the most of his chance with his new team.
"I think that, as soon as I get the playbook down, they'll let me play," Hillis said. "And I'm really looking forward to it, because I think I can help this team."
Barring any setbacks, the Giants will still likely use Jacobs as the starter on Monday night when they play the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium and Hillis could be mixed into the offense, depending on how much of the playbook and offense he has picked up in his short time with the team.
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