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New York Giants' running back David Wilson advised to retire

New York Giants' running back David Wilson (22) was forced to retire from football due to a neck injury suffered against the Philadelphia Eagles last season. The speedy back from Virginia Tech set a team record for return yards in his rookie season of 20.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The short NFL career of NFL running back David Wilson is apparently at an end. According to a statement released by the New York Giants on its official website,, Wilson visited with the team physician, who advised the running back that he should no longer play football.

This past January, Wilson had a fusion of the vertebrae to repair a herniated disc that he suffered in October 2013 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The former Virginia Tech Hokie hoped to make a comeback this season, but could not make it to the first preseason game before his neck once again became an issue. Last week, Wilson ran into offensive lineman Eric Herman in a non-contact drill and suffered what was called a "burner" by head coach Tom Coughlin. He was held out of practice for the rest of the week and also ruled out of Sunday's Hall of Fame game against the Buffalo Bills last night.

Dr. Russell Warren, the Giants' team physician, released this statement, "Dr. Frank Cammisa Jr., our spine specialist at HSS examined David this morning and following that exam, we both sat down and shared our perspective with David. David has diffuse cervical stenosis. He had a disc removed and a fusion in January. In light of last week’s episode of symptoms, sensory and motor, Frank and I both told David he should not play football any more. We let David know that by playing, he would be putting himself at risk for more episodes like last week or perhaps something more serious.”

Wilson was the first round selection (32nd overall) in the 2012 NFL draft. Despite his game breaking speed, Wilson could never break into the lineup as a full time player. Mostly for the G-men, Wilson excelled as a kickoff return threat and garnered over 1,500 return yards in his rookie season, most ever in Giants' team history.

But Wilson never mastered the details of becoming an everyday NFL running back because he did not excel in pass protection and ball security. In addition, his two fumbles against the Dallas Cowboys in last season's opener, seemed to cement his status in Tom Coughlin's doghouse.

While Wilson was obviously disappointed with how events have transpired, he did look positively on his brief NFL career. He said, “Growing up, ever since I was eight years old, I wanted to play in the NFL. It was my dream. And I can’t say that I didn’t live my dream, because I did. I played for the New York Giants. I was a first round draft choice of the New York Giants. I scored touchdowns. I caught touchdowns. I returned kicks for touchdowns and I set records. So I got to do some of the things I dreamed of doing all my life.”

For their part the Giants began to prepare for life without Wilson in the off season by signing free agent Rashad Jennings, resigning Peyton Hillis and drafting Andre Williams out of Boston College. The team also tried to replace Wilson's game breaking speed by selecting wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in the first round of the 2014 draft. Beckham has seen limited action in training camp thus far as he battles hamstring issues.

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