Much like Rodney Dangerfield, New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman gets no respect, or at that used to be the case. The narrative has slowly begun to change over the past few weeks as the former Clemson Tiger has added a sizeable jolt to Big Blue’s run game in place of the injured Devonta Freeman. Fresh off a season-high 4.86 ypc average on 14 carries, his play has begun to garner the attention of others, including the likes of franchise-great Tiki Barber, as well as the head coach of this week’s opponent.
I really like Wayne Gallman!
— Tiki Barber (@TikiBarber) November 8, 2020
“Wayne, I tell you, he’s an explosive guy, he’s also good out of the backfield,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said of the running back while speaking to the media on Wednesday. “It’s a good mix of backs that they’re using – of course, Devonta is kind of the new addition and picking up the system, but a veteran player along with [RB] Dion Lewis. I mean, these guys are three different styles and you’ve got to be prepared for all of them, and then you throw in Daniel Jones.”
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Gallman Out of the NFL by Next Year? Not So Fast
Freeman, who Pederson touched on above, has missed each of the Giants’ past two games due to an ankle injury. However, the running game has stayed afloat in his absence, if not been elevated since Gallman has taken the helm in the backfield.
Yet, people still seem to question the 26-year-old Loganville (GA) native, such as the Twitter account SportsTalkBurner, who claimed “Gallman typically struggles to get 3 yards per carry anyway. He’ll be out of the NFL after this year.”
We don’t need to harp on how asinine that statement is considering the fact that Gallman has averaged 4.1 ypc over his 46-game career. Still, it was nice to see The Athletic’s Dan Duggan go to bat for the underappreciated running back.
“Man, Gallman is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Giants! Not saying he’s a star but he gets no respect.” Duggan tweeted in response. “Giants went out and signed Freeman off the street and immediately made him the feature back. Gallman averaging 1.2 more ypc than freeman this season…”
Gallman Constantly Delivers
Being slept on is nothing new for Gallman. Despite totaling 3,025 yards from scrimmage and 31 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Clemson, helping earn his school a National Championship along the way, he still managed to slide all the way to the fourth-round in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Just this summer, the belief was Gallman would fail to make it out of training camp as a member of the Giants. With the signing of veteran Dion Lewis and the promising play of UDFA Javon Leake operating behind starter Saquon Barkley, the writing appeared to be on the wall. Gallman was a regular trade or cut candidate for the majority of the offseason.
Instead, Gallman did what he always does, step up to the plate. The four-year pro not only made the roster, but he’s also jumped Lewis on the depth chart while making Leake expendable.
Whether it’s totaling 118 yards and two touchdowns in place of an injured Barkley a season ago against Washington, or rejuvenating a run game from this season that started the year dead in the water, Gallman continues to answer the bell.
While Freeman may be inching towards a return to the playing field this week, logging a limited practice on Wednesday, his return to lead-back duties in the Giants’ backfield is even more uncertain.
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