With the New York Giants losing to the Minnesota Vikings 28-10 on Sunday, the loss was accompanied by another injury to the running back position. Backup Wayne Gallman was knocked out due to a concussion early in the first quarter, leaving Jon Hilliman and Elijah Penny to handle the reigns in his absence.
With star back Saquon Barkley still recovering from a high ankle sprain, the Giants would be smart to dive into the free-agent pool and see if they can find a serviceable backup to Barkley, who’s expected to return next Thursday against the New England Patriots.
If Barkley is unable to go next week and Gallman is also out, Big Blue will be traveling into enemy territory with a lack of talent at an essential position.
Here is one veteran the New York Giants should consider:
Former Los Angeles Ram and Detroit Lions running back, CJ Anderson, has proved he can be a capable runner in the past. Last season, he averaged 6.0 yards per attempt with the Rams and Carolina Panthers over 67 carries. The attractive part of Anderson is his ability to act as a receiver as well, hauling in 224 receiving yards just two seasons ago in a permanent role with the Denver Broncos. He’s also a significant body you can protect the quarterback well.
The only issue with signing Anderson is his potential price tag, as the Giants have about $3 million in cap space remaining. Bringing in Anderson would likely cost the team somewhere in the 700k-$1 million range, considering his $1.5 million deal with the Lions earlier this season before being cut.
Ultimately, the Giants need support at the running back position, and Anderson is a proven player with the qualities to supplement the loss of Barkley to a degree. He might even be a better option over Gallman in the grand scheme, and the issue is primarily his lack of familiarity with the Giants offense. However, head coach Pat Shurmur is running out of options to trot out at running back.