Andre Brown is in at running back and David Wilson is out. That isn't really surprise. Markus Kuhn is in at defensive tackle and Shaun Rogers is out. That move, on the other hand, was not expected.
The Giants today placed Wilson (neck) and Rogers (knee) on injured reserve to make room for Brown and Rogers. Wilson finished his season with 44 carries for 146 yards (a 3.3-yard avg.) and one touchdown, plus two receptions for eight yards.
The activation of Brown, on short-term IR all season with a fractured leg, has been anticipated for a while now. Brown will team with Peyton Hillis, and possibly Brandon Jacobs, in the Giants backfield.
"A healthy Andre Brown that's playing well will be a significant contribution to our offense," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "It looks like he's physically running pretty well. You can still see that he's got to make a few of the things that happened very naturally, right now are not happening as natural as usual; his reads, his awareness of some of the things that are going on. But you can see him. He's a good football player. When he's healthy, he helps us."
As for Wilson, the question becomes what is his long-term future? Surgery is not expected, but can the Giants count on Wilson to return and become the feature back they thought he would be in 2013? If not, can Brown be that guy? Do they need to turn to free agency or the draft to fill that role in 2014?
"I don’t know what to think because it’s obvious that medically there’s no green light, so we’re still in a holding pattern, believing that he’s going to get better," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Thursday.
The activation of Kuhn, who has been on the PUP list all season after surgery to repair a torn ACL, had appeared much more uncertain than that of Brown.
Rogers' knee injury opened the door for the return of Kuhn, the 2012 seventh-round draft pick from North Carolina State. It likely also opens the door 2013 second-round pick Johnathan Hankins to become a regular part of the defensive tackle rotation.
Question is, does this close the door on Rogers' 13-year NFL career. The 34-year-old three-time Pro Bowler played well in seven games this season before injuring the knee. He missed all of last season due to a blood clot in his leg.