New York Giants running back Orleans Darkwa has been the odd man out all summer. The preseason finale against the New England Patriots is his last shot to prove he deserves a roster spot.
On Thursday night, the New York Giants will take on the New England Patriots in the preseason finale. For Orleans Darkwa, it may be his last time in a Giants uniform if he doesn’t make an impression on the coaching staff.
The Giants entered the summer with a crowded backfield to say the least. Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen and fifth-round draft pick Paul Perkins were all basically assured a roster spot. That left Darkwa, Andre Williams, Bobby Rainey and Marshaun Coprich competing for the last slot on the depth chart. Rainey was brought in as a veteran body and is likely to be cut. Coprich was released earlier this week.
If it’s between Darkwa and Williams, the Giants coaching staff has given Williams more opportunities to earn the job. This preseason, he’s been given 15 carries for 56 yards versus just three carries for Darkwa. In February, head coach Ben McAdoo even gave an indication that Williams would be a part of the Giants’ plans. “I think a lot of people may be willing to give up on Andre. I think it may be early for that. I look forward to Andre bouncing back this year and having a bounce-back year.”
But why not Darkwa? He was one of the more effective RBs on the roster in 2015. Darkwa finished the season averaging 4.3 yards per carry compared to Williams’ 2.9 YPC.
Ed Valentine of Big Blue View even maintains he looked better than Jennings last season. “Based on the (too) limited sample we saw a year ago, you could make the argument that Darkwa is the best all-around back of the four who were with the Giants in 2015.”
Darkwa will certainly have more opportunities on Thursday night, but is it already too late? The coaching staff may have already made their mind up based on the light workload during the preseason.