EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants' sagging rushing attack, one of the worst in the NFL, got a huge boost from a rookie on Sunday. So now that they've seen what fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman can do, how can they possibly turn back now?
Ben McAdoo, of course, wouldn't reveal his future plans, but he did indicate that Gallman at least played his way into a piece of the Giants' running back rotation. The rookie from Clemson rushed 11 times in the Giants' loss to the Bucs for 42 yards and caught a four-yard touchdown pass.
That's hardly a sign that the Giants have found the next Ezekiel Elliott, but 42 rushing yards qualifies as opening the floodgates as far as the Giants are concerned.
"Wayne's a young player who plays fast," McAdoo said. "I think you saw the speed when he jumped onto the field. He has electricity in his game. He's a talented, young player. He has a lot to learn, but he's very, very willing and works hard at it.
"He showed it wasn't too big for him."
What he did, though, came in an unexpected opportunity. Orleans Darkwa missed the game with a back injury, so the Giants had to activate Gallman for the game and turn to him when starter Paul Perkins went out with bruised ribs. The question for McAdoo, though, is what will he do when Perkins is healthy, because the second-year player has been incredibly ineffective this season. He's had a dismal 61 yards on 32 carries this season, including 13 yards on nine carries on Sunday.
But McAdoo, not surprisingly, didn't even offer a hint about what he plans to do.
"We have very capable backs we have a lot of confidence in," he said. "Perkins is obviously nicked up. He's a good back. We still believe in him, have a lot of confidence in him. You saw the energy that Gallman brought to the game. Orleans is a guy we can throw in and be a big, productive runner for us. And Shane [Vereen] is going to play his role."
Of course, there's also the possibility that McAdoo will eventually abandon his preconceived roles in favor of going with the hottest of the running backs -- something that would make a lot of sense for a struggling offense that ranks second-to-last in the NFL in rushing, averaging a horrible 59.2 rushing yards per game.
"Every player has a role," McAdoo said. "They play their role going into game. If somebody gets hot, we'll ride him."
On Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, we'll see if he really will.