Giants can't count on David Wilson for '14

David Wilson wants to return from his neck injury and be the New York Giants' starting running back again in 2014. But because it's a neck injury, no one can be sure if that's going to be possible.

"If a guy is having a possible surgery that could end his career, it's hard to say that," Giants GM Jerry Reese said Monday. "I think we'll have to have some contingency plans at the running back position. I don't think you go into the next season saying David Wilson's going to be our No. 1, starting running back. I don't think you can do that. The guy is coming off of a neck surgery, if he decides to have it."

Reese said Wilson had another exam scheduled in January to determine the next step, and that surgery to repair his herniated disc was a possible outcome of that exam. Should Wilson have surgery, he and the team are optimistic that he'll be able to recover and play again. But as Reese said, it's impossible to be certain of that. So with Andre Brown a free agent, running back becomes an area the Giants are going to have to address in free agency and/or the draft this offseason.

They were able to mix and match this year with free agents like Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs. And while those guys may or may not be back as backup options in 2014, the degree to which they produced indicates that the Giants always will be able to find at least something at running back on the in-season market. But what the Giants love about Wilson -- and the reason they made him their first-round pick in the 2012 draft -- is that he offers them a chance to deliver big, explosive plays in the run game. Brown also has shown an ability to be a somewhat dynamic runner at times, though not with the upside of Wilson.

So when Reese talks of a "No. 1, starting running back," he's thinking he'll have to go out and get someone good if he doesn't bring back Brown and can't count on Wilson.

Just one more thing to add to a Giants offseason shopping list that already includes three offensive linemen, a tight end, a wide receiver, linebackers, defensive linemen and a cornerback -- to name a few items.