When the New York Giants selected Wayne Gallman in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, fans wondered what he could be. Fast forward three years and he is now the featured back in an offense that lost star running back Saquon Barkley for the remainder of the 2020 season. With two coaching staffs that seemed to improperly use Gallman, it looks like he has finally found his niche with Joe Judge and company. If Gallman can keep his level of play up for the rest of 2020, he will definitely be back in 2021 and beyond.
Wayne Gallman Is Playing Towards A New Contract
Rookie Year Rollercoaster
2017 is a year that most Giants fans would like to forget. One could say the same about Wayne Gallman, who fumbled the ball three times in his rookie year.
Nonetheless, it was an OK year for Gallman, who received just over 100 rushing attempts for 476 yards. That year, the Giants continued running back dark-hole started with Paul Perkins, and ended with a duo of Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman. The team won just three measly games that year, en route to a top three pick where Gallman would soon meet the superstar he would be backing up.
The Shurmur Doghouse
When Pat Shurmur was brought in prior to the 2018 season, along with the Giants selecting Barkley with the second pick in the draft that year, the future seemed bleak for Gallman.
As expected, Gallman saw less touches as the weeks passed. In both the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Gallman was only on the field for 15% of offensive snaps. Last season especially, it was almost as if the coaching staff simply gave up on Gallman. After 10 games in 2019, the Giants made Gallman a healthy scratch for the remaining six games, involuntarily ending his third season. It is also important to note that the team decided to sign Javorius Allen, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens at the time.
The coaching staff did not like Gallman and it was evident. He was shut down basically for the last six games of 2019 for a veteran running back who had no business being on a team that was clearly going nowhere at the time.
A New Hope for Wayne Gallman
As the 2020 season began, it looked like it would be more of the same for Gallman once again. After Barkley went down, the team went out and signed former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman.
Freeman has been dealing with an ankle and hamstring injury since Week 7. This became a blessing in disguise for Gallman, who has been the featured back ever since, splitting reps with Alfred Morris.
Gallman has now rushed for a touchdown in four straight games, dating back to the Giants first matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. Replacing the production of Saquon Barkley is not an easy task, but Gallman has been doing his part. The Giants rushing attack has eclipsed 100 yards in six of their last seven games, an impressive feat after the run game looked dead following the first two weeks of the season.
Coming into this season, the 26 year-old had only rushed for three touchdowns in three years. Including Sunday’s win over Philadelphia, Gallman has five rushing touchdowns alone this season.
“Wayne, I tell you, he’s an explosive guy, he’s also good out of the backfield,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said ahead of Sunday’s game.
It looks like Gallman’s play has caught the eye of the Giants opponents, and he will only get better as the season progresses.
Coming into the season, no one really knew what would happen to Wayne Gallman. Most probably did not anticipate him to be back after 2020. The narrative has been completely flipped, as Gallman is showing his true colors through ten weeks of football.
Gallman’s 275 rushing yards and five touchdowns are not “Saquon Barkley numbers” that Giants fans have been used to for the past two seasons. However, it does shine light into the future; when Barkley comes back healthy, he has a tremendous backup to help ease the work load.
Wayne Gallman is running hard this year, playing through contact and really taking advantage of goal-line scoring opportunities. With more reps and playing with the same motivation he’s had all year, expect the Wayne Train to keep on rolling for years to come.
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