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Peyton Hillis might play bigger role with Brandon Jacobs injury

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Peyton Hillis could play a bigger role on Monday. (USATSI)
Peyton Hillis could play a bigger role on Monday. (USATSI)

With the Giants running game in shambles, due mostly to injuries, the team signed retread Peyton Hillis this week, in the hope that he could give Brandon Jacobs a little bit of rest here and there.

Turns out that Hillis might have an even bigger role than originally anticipated for Monday, because Jacobs reportedly suffered a setback Saturday with his hamstring injury.

"If he cannot play, the Giants are reduced to fast-forwarding the learning curve on Hillis and rushing him onto the field, even though he signed just this week," writes the NY Post. "The only other running back on the roster is rookie Michael Cox, who has yet to record an NFL rushing attempt."

That obviously is not good.

Jacobs, in his first start with the Giants since 2011, surprisingly rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6, but he's also battling his leg injury. He was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, and he didn't practice Saturday.

Meanwhile, Hillis hasn't done much of anything after rushing for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Browns in 2010 while also catching 61 passes. He made the Madden cover the next year, but he struggled in 2011, and his teammates questioned his commitment as he tried to land a big-time contract. Last year, he was largely irrelevant with the Chiefs, and he was cut from the Buccaneers earlier this season.

“I've been very humbled over the past couple of years,” Hillis said this week, via the Newark Star Ledger. “I've really found my place. Wherever I am I'm trying to do what is best for the team whether it helps me or not.

“I feel like if this opportunity hadn't come along, I probably wouldn't have another opportunity.”

Hillis actually had to win his spot this week with a Tuesday tryout and outlast other free agents like Ryan Torain in order to win a job with New York.

“It's been tough because I feel like I never had a real opportunity,” Hillis said. “I went to Kansas City and I was playing behind a great back in Jamaal Charles. Then, I went to Tampa behind another good back in Doug Martin and I never got to play there, either. I just really haven't found the niche that I need to stay with a team and produce for them.”

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