The update Monday night that David Wilson will not require season-ending neck surgery was seen as generally good news, but the Giants running back is not in the clear just yet.
While the hope is that he can return to the field in a matter of weeks -- perhaps even as soon as Week 10 against the Raiders when the Giants return from their bye -- his immediate and long-term futures still are in question.
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According to a source, Wilson has a herniated disc and stenosis in his neck, both of which were diagnosed by the Giants and confirmed by neck specialist Robert Watkins Monday in Los Angeles.
"It's too early to make any declarations about what this all means regarding this season or his career," the source said, "but it's a serious situation that is being given the treatment and attention it deserves. There is no need to rush the process."
Wilson, who has maintained that he feels perfectly fine since experiencing numbness in his extremities in the game against the Eagles last week, will continue to receive treatment on his neck and will be re-evaluated in several weeks.
Wilson said he experienced similar numbness in high school and college, which the Giants see as a positive sign for his return to the field.
"David is very optimistic, very upbeat," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He's that kind of guy."
With Wilson out indefinitely and Brandon Jacobs and Da'Rel Scott sidelined with hamstring injuries Monday, the team's only healthy running back for practice was rookie Michael Cox. The next-to-last player taken in this year's draft was the last man standing in the Giants' backfield.
"It was a little strange being the only one out there and being able to practice and everything," Cox said. "It went good, though."
The Giants expect Jacobs to be ready by the next game, which isn't until Monday night against the Vikings. But with Wilson's immediate future clouded and Scott unlikely to play, Cox could be given his first NFL carries. The Giants also will have several free agents in for workouts on Tuesday.
"They said I was going to be playing, so I'm just getting ready like I do every week," Cox said. "That's what they said. We're going to see whether they do or not. I'm just getting ready to play."
Jacobs said he thinks he can carry the workload he had against the Bears on Thursday -- when he ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries -- until reinforcements arrive in the form of Wilson and Andre Brown, who is scheduled to come off injured reserve after the bye.
"No question in my mind I can do it," Jacobs said. "I'm ready if I have to do it. I've done it before, but I don't think it will go that far."