EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Giants have the NFL’s worst running game and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve much this week.
Starting halfback David Wilson will miss the Giants’ game against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night with a neck injury and the starting job is seemingly going to fall to Brandon Jacobs.
Jacobs has not started a game since the end of the Giants’ 2011 season. He was out of action most of last season with San Francisco because of injuries and a run-in with coach Jim Harbaugh.
“I can handle a full load, there’s no question,” Jacobs said Tuesday. “I’d be hurting the next day, I’m not going to lie and say that, but I can definitely handle a full workload if I need to. … I’m ready. Whatever they ask me, I’m ready to go. I’m in good shape, just whatever they ask me to do.”
Da’Rel Scott, who started for the Giants against Kansas City less than two weeks ago and then was cut days later, has been re-signed to back up Jacobs.
“It’s going to be difficult,” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. “I am sure those guys are going to give it their best shot and the line is going to give it their best shot and we’ll see what we can do.”
For the Giants (0-5), running the ball has been a major challenge. The offensive line has not blocked well, the backs are a step off, and the result has been an average of 56.8 yards.
It was a problem no one envisioned when the Giants decided to release No. 1 running back Ahmad Bradshaw after last season to clear the way for Wilson, the team’s first round pick in 2012.
Wilson fell out of favor after a couple of fumbles in the season opener. Backup Andre Brown broke a leg in the preseason finale and has not been available, and the line has struggled all season with injuries to center Kevin Baas and guard Chris Snee.
After Wilson was hurt at the end of the first quarter in the 36-21 loss to the Eagles, Jacobs became an every-down back. He gained 37 yards on 11 carries, but lost a fumble as well.
“At least I had an opportunity to get in there and do it with an offense I knew,” he said. “I have some mistakes here and there that I wish I could have back, no question, but I’m ready to go.”
Jacobs still needs to knock some rust off his game. He missed a couple of cuts on runs because he didn’t plant the correct foot, and he fumbled switching the ball in his arms – something a running back rarely does when there is no contact.
“My expectations, for me, are to go out and help this team win,” said Jacobs, who has gained 48 yards on 22 carries since signing with the Giants. “Do something that we haven’t done all year long and do whatever they need me to do. Pass protect, run hard, whatever, catch, whatever they ask me to do I have to do out there and get it done.”
The Giants haven’t topped 100 yards as a team in a game yet, and their longest run from scrimmage was an 18-yarder by Wilson against Carolina in a 38-0 loss. Last season, they averaged 116.4.
“You know what you’re going to get from Brandon and that’s everything he’s got,” said guard Kevin Boothe. “I’m excited to be out there with him.”
Scott, who practiced with the team Tuesday, admits being released after his start against the Chiefs was a shock. Team officials simply told him they had to sign offensive linemen and he was expendable. At the same time, they told him to stay ready.
“Just being home and being a free agent was very frustrating,” Scott said. “Just being here, I have to make the most of it, and prove that I should be here.”
To make room for Scott, the Giants waived defensive lineman Justin Trattou, who was playing on special teams.
NOTES: DT Linval Joseph (ankle) expects to play Thursday after missing the Eagles’ game. … CB Corey Webster (groin) is not making progress. Expect him to miss his fourth straight game. … CB Terrell Thomas (knee) expects to be on the field Thursday after the team opted not to play him Sunday because that would have meant three games in roughly 10 days. Thomas missed the last two seasons with knee injuries. … Recently acquired MLB Jon Beason hopes to play more than special teams on Thursday.
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