David Wilson did everything he could think of.
After suffering a herniated disc against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 6, the 22-year-old New York Giants running back wanted nothing more than to get back on the field. He begged and pleaded with coaches and doctors. He stated over and over again that he felt no pain. Heck, he even made his way onto the practice field.
"I snuck out on the field and was removed," Wilson said.
But it didn't matter how healthy Wilson felt, or how much he could still do, there was one test he couldn't pass.
"I passed every test except a picture," Wilson said. "That's the only reason I'm not on the field. Because of pictures."
MRI's have yet to reveal enough to doctors to clear Wilson for physical contact. So as the Giants begin their offseason program, he's still waiting on one last passing grade.
He's in shape, he's been lifting, he's more than three months removed from surgery that fused together his vertebrae, but he still doesn't have that photo.
"Right now, we just need to get the photograph that we need," Wilson said.
While Wilson claimed to reporters that he expects to be ready when the team takes the field for Organized Team Activities in the coming weeks, there's no shortage of questions surrounding the former first-round pick. Will that photo ever come? Will he ever be the same back that took the field prior to that Oct. 6 date last year?
The Giants took measures this offseason in order to prepare themselves for a situation in which Wilson can't go. The team re-signed Peyton Hillis, and signed Rashad Jennings. Last year, Jennings rushed for 733 yards and six touchdowns on 163 carries. He averaged 4.5 yards a carry and caught 36 passes out of the backfield.
At 6-foot-1, 231 pounds, Jennings is four inches taller, and 26 pounds heavier than Wilson. The way Wilson sees it, Jennings isn't competition, but rather an addition.
"He's definitely a help for the team," Wilson said. "Running back is a position where it's not going to be one guy like a quarterback. When you have a quarterback, you have one quarterback. You have like once center.
"Running back is a position where people can unfortunately get hurt and that's a position that you want to have a lot of bodies in."
Jennings echoed the same, saying he thinks the two could provide a thunder-and-lightning combination in New York's backfield.
"That's something we're going to strive to become," Jennings said. "He brings an element to the game that's unique and special. I think every other running back brings something unique and special to this offense. We'll see how time plays itself out, but I definitely want every running back to contribute as much as they possible can."