Giants running back David Wilson had a rough night on Sunday vs the Cowboys. There’s no debating it. Fumbling is the cardinal sin for running backs. Yet the talk swarming around the Giants on Monday centered on benching Wilson, or possibly involving him less in the offense. That would be a bad move.
Wilson’s mistakes vs the Cowboys may have been big, but his skills as a runner are too valuable to take out of the lineup. Wilson offers the Giants big-play ability out of the backfield. He has great quickness and is very explosive out of his cuts. He can go the distance on any play, and that alone strikes fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators around the league. He’s a talent that opposing teams have to account for; a talent that linebackers and safeties have to be wary of; a talent that can create holes for the myriad of weapons Eli Manning has at his disposal in the passing game as a result.
Wilson fumbled on opening night against the Cowboys in 2012, sending him straight to Tom Coughlin’s doghouse for the early part of last season. He hadn’t fumbled again until Sunday night. The media needs storylines for papers and controversy for discussion on pre and post-game shows. They’ll quickly bring up the notion of benching Wilson or suggest that the Giants can’t afford to keep him on the field. The Giants would be wise to ignore those sentiments.
You don’t bench a player as dynamic as Wilson just because he made a couple of mistakes in one game. Where would the Vikings be if they benched Adrian Peterson when he suffered from fumble-itis early in his career?
This isn’t to say that David Wilson is Adrian Peterson. However, he’s a young player who needs playing experience to develop. If the same mistakes continue on a regular basis, then revisit the issue. But Week 2 of an NFL season is not the time to overreact.