Orleans Darkwa is a player yours truly has for some time now wanted to see get a bigger opportunity as a running back with the New York Giants. It appears that opportunity will come Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. Jordan Ranaan of ESPN is reporting that starting running back Rashad Jennings will not play due to a thumb injury.
If that turns out to be correct, it would be the second straight game missed by Jennings since he suffered a left thumb injury. With Shane Vereen on IR it would leave the Giants with Darkwa, third on their depth chart, as the team’s primary back.
Darkwa had 10 carries for 53 yards last week against the Washington Redskins, both career highs. The third-year back from Tulane carried 36 time for 153 yards (4.3 yards per carry) last season in limited duty.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan recently expressed confidence in Darkwa:
“Darkwa is very tough, he's versatile, he can run hard. He's very aware of our pass protection schemes. He'll execute that job well; he catches the ball. So, he's versatile player,” Sullivan said. “He's had some issues in the past in terms of not being able to stay healthy perhaps and just some bad luck. Knock on wood, he's been very healthy and very productive and I'm glad he's here. He's certainly someone, if he's called upon, we have great confidence in.”
Darkwa likely would step into Jennings’ role if he is out. Veteran Bobby Rainey will probably fill the pass-catching and third-down role that had been Vereen’s The third running back would be rookie Paul Perkins, and it will be interesting to see how the Giants work the UCLA graduate into the rotation.
Here is a touch of better news on the injury front.