On Monday the New York Giants announced that two doctors have advised promising young running back David Wilson to stop playing football. The doctors told the 23-year-old that the condition of his neck and spine were such that he should retire.
The Giants placed him on injured reserve, meaning there is no chance he could make a comeback this season, but Wilson seems to understand his playing days are behind him.
According to a team release, Wilson had the following to say:
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.
Wilson injured his neck in Week 5 of the 2013 season and missed the rest of the campaign. He had spinal fusion surgery in January and was eventually cleared for full contact on July 21, just before the Giants started training camp. He was injured again a week later and spent last week being examined by doctors.
Giants team doctor Russell Warren advised Wilson to retire and had the following to say in a team news release:
David has diffuse cervical stenosis. He had a disk removed and a fusion in January. In light of last week’s episode symptoms, sensory and motor, (spinal specialist) Frank (Cammisa) and I both told David he should not play football anymore. 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.
New York selected Wilson in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Virginia Tech. He shined as a kick returner as a rookie and opened the 2013 season as the team’s starting running back.
He will finish his career with 504 yards and five touchdowns on 115 carries, and 42 yards and one score on six receptions. But more importantly he will walk away from the game in good health. That’s what we should all be focused on today.