New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw has some thoughts on the free-agent departure of his friend and former backfieldmate Brandon Jacobs. As Ohm Youngmisuk writes, Bradshaw is very sad on a personal level to see Jacobs go. But having recently undergone a procedure in which bone marrow was removed from his hip and injected into his broken foot to help the foot heal, Bradshaw says he believes he can take on more carries. He'll be sitting out the offseason program to rest the foot post-surgery. But he says he feels great and plans to be 100 percent in time for training camp:
"I got the injection in February. I feel tremendous after a month. Right now I have a lot of confidence that I will be able to just be a pound-for-pound back and just hold my own. I probably can (run now) but I am not going to try for two or three months more. I just want to rest as much as I can. By the time training camp comes, I want to practice every week and start the season off right."
Hey, nobody likes minicamps and OTAs, so I doubt Bradshaw's crushed about having to skip that part of the year. It's the part that follows that matters anyway, to Bradshaw, his team and his fans. And while no one doubts Bradshaw's toughness or willingness to play through pain, I think it's pretty clear the team will bring in someone to replace Jacobs and take some of those carries away.
It's not a question of Bradshaw's will or even his ability. It's merely a question of health -- the health of feet that have been a problem for him for years now. At some point, it's fair to assume, Bradshaw's foot will fail him again. It's a matter of when, not if. As much as he may have been portrayed, over the years, as the smaller half of the backfield tandem, Bradshaw is not some shifty, elusive scatback. He's a big, physical back who runs hard, absorbs a lot of contact and gives his body up by blocking and picking up blitzes in the passing game. The NFL season wears on him, and while I don't claim to understand the extent to which an injection of bone marrow from another part of his body might help eliminate his chronic injury, it's no stretch to predict that Bradshaw will wear down.
The running backs still on the Giants' roster -- D.J. Ware, Da'Rel Scott and the drug-suspended Andre Brown -- likely don't provide the answer. Even if one of them emerges in training camp as a viable candidate for an increased workload, none has shown the ability that Bradshaw and Jacobs have shown to do the physical dirty work the Giants demand of their running backs. Jacobs will need to be replaced, for the team's sake and for Bradshaw's.