It's safe to say that the New York Giants are happy to have Andre Brown back on the field for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders. Brown suffered a broken left leg in the preseason, having only returned to practice recently. While he was sidelined, New York has seen sophomore halfback David Wilson fail to be effective before he hit the injured reserve with a neck injury.
The dearth of talent in the offensive backfield has caused the team to pick up veterans Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs "off the street." If Brown can even come close to replicating his 5.3 yards per carry average from last season, he'll give the offense a much-needed boost.
"It's going to be fun," said Brown about playing in his first regular season game this year.
"I just can't wait. I haven't been getting too much sleep because it's like Christmas. I'm just really looking forward to going back out there and playing."
Brown will be able to help out not only in the running game, but also in the passing game, where he shines in the eyes of coaches because of his ability to pick up blitzes. He's adamant that all that time away from the field won't affect how he protects quarterback Eli Manning.
"I'm pretty sure pass protection, guys rushing at me and I have to pick up the blitz and whatnot is going to be hard, but I know I'm going to be able to pick it up. I'm going to be able to go out there and do my job and I'm looking forward to it."
Even though Brown is ready to play, he's unlikely to see a full workload in his first game back from a broken leg. It's unknown right now how many times Brown will carry the ball or even if he will start. To protect his injured leg, the fifth-year halfback will be wearing some armor along with his uniform.
"Yeah, I've got a shin guard. Or a fibula guard, tibia guard, I forgot which bone I broke. Yeah, they built a little carbon fiber plate for me. They said I would probably be wearing that for the rest of my career. It is what it is."
Even with the extra padding, getting Brown on the field is a big step for the Giants towards what they hope is a surprise playoff run.