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David Wilson's Career Comes to an End

by Kristian O'Hara
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David Wilson/ Instagram

New York's first round draft pick in 2012 walks away from football due to neck injury

New York Giants running back David Wilson has been advised by team doctors to end his career and never play football again.  This comes just a week after Wilson was cleared to resume playing football after a previous neck injury that put his career in jeopardy a first time.  

During practice, Wilson took a handoff and ran into the back of one of his offensive lineman with his head.  The play resulted in Wilson injuring his neck and feeling symptoms of numbness in his hands and lower extremities.  The team took Wilson to the Hospital for Special Surgery to see Dr. Frank Cammisa Jr., the spine specialist at HSS.

After a series of tests and evaluations, both Cammisa and Giants team physician Dr. Russell Warren agreed that it would be best for Wilson’s health to walk away from the National Football League.  Both doctors also agreed that if Wilson were to continue playing, he put himself at risk to further injuring his neck and possibly creating a more serious situation down the road.  After such an unfortunate set of circumstances, Wilson was surprisingly upbeat in his comments about his career coming to an end.

“I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me or pity me. I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that too.”  The attitude that Wilson has shown throughout this ordeal is admirable.  He also posted on Instagram, saying “I am blessed that I am able to walk away from this game healthy and still able to be me with no restrictions, pain, or struggle.”  Wilson has said in the past that he has always tried to look at things in a positive light.  That attitude will certainly help him get through this tough time.

Wilson was a first round draft pick of the Giants in the 2012 NFL Draft.  He played his college ball at Virginia Tech where he was named ACC Player of the Year in 2011 after he rushed for 1,709 yards on the season.  He also holds school records for most career yards per carry (5.76) and most 100+ yard performances in a single season (10).  Upon entering the NFL, Wilson set the New York Giants team record for most all-purpose yards in a game with 327 against the New Orleans Saints in 2012.  He had 227 kick return yards, 100 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on the day.  His kick return touchdown was for 97 yards and he rushed for a 6 yard and 52 yard score.  He became the first player in NFL history to record 200 kick return yards and 100 rushing yards in the same game.

Wilson had tremendous speed and an explosive burst while running the ball.  He also had tremendous potential and was on the verge of becoming a real force for the Giants in my opinion.  However, his fumbling problems and ultimately his neck injuries were the setbacks that prevented him from becoming a great player for the Giants. His career may be over but I believe Wilson will overcome this latest obstacle in his life and prosper in whatever career or endeavor he chooses.