We can cross our fingers and hope Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw can stay healthy for the entire 2010 season and carry the rushing load for the New York Giants.
Deep down, however, I think we all understand that the Giants will need another running back to step forward this season to carry some of the load -- whether that be as a third-down pass-catcher, a short-yardage back or a guy who can handle 15 or so carries in the event Jacobs or Bradshaw gets dinged up.
There are three candidates for that third slot in the running back rotation. Danny (or is it D.J.?) Ware, Andre Brown and Gartrell Johnson.
Which guy do you think has the best chance of being a 'breakout player' in 2010?
Ware is, more or less, the incumbent in this competition. The Giants expected Ware to grab the role of third-down back last season, but injuries and an apparently questionable work ethic as the season progressed derailed him. He ended up with just 13 rushing attempts and three pass receptions for the season.
Ware is still only 25, even though it seems he has been around forever. He has the size (6-foot, 234 pounds), the speed and the hands to be quality back. He had a golden opportunity in 2009, and could not grab it. Maybe he still can, but you have to start to wonder.
Brown is the wild-card in the equation. He looked terrific in camp last season, but the fourth-round pick from North Carolina State lost his rookie season to a ruptured Achilles Tendon. I think we would all like to see him make it back, and eventually grab this job. The 6-foot, 224-pounder is in uncharted waters for a running back, though, trying to come back from an injury that can have a devastating impact on the ability to make sharp, quick cuts -- the things a running back lives on.
Johnson is probably the dark horse here. The Giants picked up the 5-foot-10, 219-pound Johnson on waivers from San Diego last season. He had been a fourth-round pick by the Chargers.
Johnson got limited opportunities, ending up with 13 carries in mostly mop-up duty. He seems like a powerful guy who might fit as an 8-10 carry per game guy, or short-yardage power back.
So, which of the three do you think will step forward for the Giants this season?