EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** The Giants' players will be off on Wednesday, June 4, but for David Wilson it will be one of the most important days of the spring.
"I'm just looking forward to getting out on the field, so hopefully they get the pictures they're looking for," Wilson said today after the Giants' organized team activity.
Wilson has been on the field with his teammates, but has not yet been cleared for contact. The Giants and he hope the doctors will allow him to clear that hurdle after the MRI next week.
"He is in an area where he's not supposed to have any contact," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He's out there running and feels good. You'd never know that he's having issues."
That is exactly what Wilson has said since he injured his neck against Philadelphia on Oct. 6. He never felt pain, or even discomfort. But the doctors soon told him his season was finished. Wilson underwent a fusion of the vertebrae to repair the herniated disc in his neck on Jan. 16.
Wilson has worked hard at his rehab and is doing everything the doctors will permit. But he needs the validation from an MRI to resume his career this season.
"Just staying positive and going out there and still participating," said Wilson, who was the Giants' first-round draft choice in 2012 and set a franchise record with 1,533 kickoff return yards as a rookie that year. "I don't even think about it when I'm out there. I'm just doing everything normal. If you focus on that, it's the wrong thing to focus on. I'm trying to focus more on building chemistry with my team and learning this playbook so we can have a better season than we did last year.
Photos from Thursday's Giants OTA practice!
"I have no pain and there's nothing I can do to make it better. But I want to express that I've never had any pain. I went home to my family and they were shocked to see me. On Memorial Day weekend, like, 'Oh my God, is your neck…how is your neck?' I never had any pain. I've been walking on my own, talking on my own, doing everything normal, running, exercising like regular. I want to express to everybody that I have never had any pain at all, zero percent. I've been healthy and doing well."
With or without Wilson, the Giants will have a new-look running backs corps. This offseason, the team signed veteran Rashad Jennings and drafted former Boston College star Andre Williams on the fourth round. Holdovers Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox will also compete for roster spots.
Wilson very much wants to be a member of that group, but is exercising caution under doctor's orders.
"We're just being careful because I've come so far. I feel the same since before the surgery, but we've come so far and the coaches don't want me to risk it by bumping into somebody, running into something and falling down when I'm this close to my next appointment."
If Wilson does not get his desired result on Wednesday, all is not lost. The Giants don't open training camp for almost two months. Wilson has a backup plan in case he's still restricted.
"I'll probably start kicking field goals," he said.
*The Giants today waived/injured offensive lineman Stephen Goodin, who has a foot injury. Goodin played in one game last season, stepping in at left tackle after Will Beatty suffered a broken leg vs. Washington on Dec. 29.
Goodin's roster spot was taken by wide receiver Corey Washington, who was awarded off waivers to the Giants from the Arizona Cardinals. A rookie free agent from Newberry College, Washington was signed by the Cards on May 13 and waived yesterday. In two seasons at Newberry, Washington caught 95 passes for 1,615 yards (17.0-yard avg.) and 22 touchdowns. The North Charleston, S.C. native also played two seasons at Georgia Military College.