The New York Giants have already dealt with a number of injuries to their backfield this season, and that theme is expected to continue this week with Brandon Jacobs likely out against the Minnesota Vikings. Jacobs hurt his hamstring during a breakout performance against the Chicago Bears last week, leaving only rookie Michael Cox and recently-signed veteran Peyton Hillis as options on Monday night.
Neither option is all that intriguing, but the Giants have to run the ball at some point. While you can expect to see a ton of passes from Eli Manning against a weak Minnesota secondary, both Hillis and Cox should see some carries. Figuring out which one will get more is basically a coin flip.
Cox is an extremely raw rookie who has not touched the ball this season. He was drafted in the 7th round out of UMass, so he is obviously not an exceptional talent. However, he does have an advantage over Hillis in that he has been with the team for the whole season and likely has a better understanding of the playbook.
On the other hand, Hillis is a proven veteran who has been effective at the NFL level before. Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride recently said Hillis is a “bright guy” who can pick up on a new scheme quicker than some others would. Hillis also has a reputation for being a bruiser, so he seems more likely get the goal line work against the Vikings.
Again, we don’t expect either running back to light up the box score on Monday night. But if you were counting on Jacobs to get you a handful of points to put you in position to win your matchup on Monday night, you don’t really have a choice.