Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The small crack New York Giants running back Andre Brown suffered in his left leg Thursday night has opened the door wide for David Wilson to run through.
Brown says he will not need surgery and will return in 4-6 weeks, but by the time he does Wilson could have put a lot of distance between the two.
Wilson certainly has the speed and athleticism to put distance between himself and defenders, but he rarely received the opportunity to do so as a rookie after finding himself in coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse following a Week 1 fumble.
With Brown around, I was skeptical Wilson would live up to his third-round price tag. After all, Brown was slated to get most third-down and goal-line work.
But now that Brown is down, Coughlin has no choice but to trust Wilson.
All he has left behind Wilson at this point are 2011 seventh-rounder Da'Rel Scott and veteran Ryan Torain.
The Giants like to throw the football often -- Eli Manning averaged 33.5 attempts per game last season -- but they still provided quality rushing production in 2012.
Even while dealing with injuries and missing two games last season, Giants starter Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns on 221 carries. As a team, New York rushed 409 times for 1,862 yards and 18 scores.
Wilson will have a valuable chance to prove to the coaching staff that he can succeed on all three downs and in short-yardage situations over the first 3-5 games while Brown is on the mend.
Based on his comments Friday, the second-year back is ready to take the reigns.
"I'm in shape, so I think I can handle it," Wilson said, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano. "Whatever they need me to do, I'll do. If they need me to kick a field goal, I'm going to go out there and give it 100 percent and try and make that field goal."
But is his 5-foot-9, 205-pound frame going to hold up running between the tackles?
"Don't get confused by my size," Wilson said. "I'm a physical guy. I'm from the country. I grew up chopping wood. I'm well put together."
I believe you David, and after you take the ax to the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 8, I'm sure coach Coughlin will too.