Andre Brown confirms he'll be active for Giants in Week 10
Coming out of their bye week, the Giants have to feel great about the good fortune they have received. Despite their abysmal play through the first six weeks, the playoffs remain a possibility. The team as a whole is playing much better, and they have a key offensive piece returning - running back Andre Brown.
After fracturing his left leg for the second time in the past year, Brown was placed on short-term injured reserve by the Giants before the start of the regular season. That designation made Brown ineligible to play Weeks 1-9, but he is now healthy and ready to take the field in Week 10. "The coaches just told me to be ready," Brown told the Newark Star-Ledger regarding his status for this weekend's contest with the Oakland Raiders.
The Giants will be getting a very solid player back who will fill a huge void in their offense. The ground game has been pathetic for the G-Men this season. Rushing for just 62.1 yards per game on 3.2 yards per carry, the Giants rank 30th in both categories. 17 individual players - including Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor - average more rushing yards per game than the Giants do collectively.
As a matter of fact, in the three games in which he led the Giants in carries last season, Brown averaged 82.7 rushing yards per game and never had less than 64 - he is a great bet to give the team a substantial boost in production on the ground.
Since David Wilson went down with a neck injury, the Giants have rolled with a platoon of washed up veterans (Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis) while mixing in a raw seventh-round rookie (Michael Cox). None of those three runners have averaged more than 3.5 yards per tote. Brown, on the other hand, averaged 5.3 yards on his 73 carries in 2012. He also scored eight touchdowns, including one in each of his final five games. Through eight games this year, the Giants have punched the ball into the end zone five times on the ground.
Brown is unlikely to carry the load in his first week back, as he has not played a down of football since August, but his role will expand as the season goes on. He is the best healthy runner that the Giants have at the moment, and he also excels in ball security and pass protection - two major points of emphasis for head coach Tom Coughlin.
If Brown is available in your fantasy league, scoop him up now, but I would not advise putting him into your starting lineup until you're certain that he'll get a solid workload - that could be two weeks or so down the road.
The Giants hope that Brown can provide some balance to the offense, which will make life much easier for Eli Manning, who faces constant pressure off the edge due to the lack of a threat on the ground. Brown is a near lock to be a huge upgrade at the running back position, and he'll help the Giants make a run at the playoffs that seemed all but impossible just a few weeks ago.