Ahmad Bradshaw likely to play Sunday, but have we already begun to see a decline in his young career?

I’ll say this for Ahmad Bradshaw: He’s tough.  Per ESPN, Bradshaw has a broken foot.  Somehow, per Adam Schefter, it’s not believed to be serious, since it doesn’t need surgery.  Bradshaw had this to say:

“I got a screw in my right fifth metatarsal two Februarys ago and I think the head of it is just aggravated right now,” Bradshaw said after Sunday’s game. “I think it will be fine.”

What?  I’m no doctor, but that sounds pretty serious to me.

This offseason, Ahmad Bradshaw signed a very reasonable 4 year, $18 million deal.  His numbers last year:

276 carries, 1235 yards, 8 TD.  He also caught 47 passes for 314, and was good in pass protection.

The big knock on his game was the inability to hang onto the football, as he had 7 fumbles.  Still, even with the fumbles, I would think that a 25 year old running back that rushed for 1235 yards would get more than $4.5 million per season.  The market was set rather high, when the Carolina Panthers signed DeAngelo Williams for a staggering 5 year, $43 million deal.  Williams’ numbers last year:

87 carries, 361 yards, 1 TD.  11 catches, 61 yards.  OK, so that was only in 6 games.  But what about the year prior to that?

216 carries, 1117 yards, 7 TD.  29 catches for 252.

Better, but $43 million?  Why would Williams get $8.6 million per, while Bradshaw only got $4.5?  Maybe it was because Bradshaw has a screw in his foot?  Maybe the Panthers are just dumb?  Maybe both?

Probably both.

Ahmad Bradshaw is a small back by NFL standards.  He’s not particularly fast, per se, but he’s very quick, and he’s powerful for his size at 5’10, 214.  If he loses his excellent quickness because of a hampered foot, he’s not the type of player that can function in the NFL, in my opinion.  If I were a Giants fan, I’d be more concerned with the longterm health of Bradshaw, and not so worried about his availability in New England this week.

Here are Bradshaw’s career numbers:

Year Attempts Yards Yards per carry
2007 23 190 8.26
2008 67 355 5.3
2009 163 778 4.77
2010 276 1235 4.47
2011 111 440 3.96

Noticing a trend on his yards per carry?  The decline of the Giants OL from 2007 to 2010 (and the subsequent turnover in 2011) has something to do with that, but I can’t help but think that part of it is Bradshaw’s foot.

I like Ahmad Bradshaw.  Really tough guy, runs hard, truly gives 100% on every play, and has been an overachiever in his young career.  He’s great for the NFC East.  I just wonder if that foot is going to nag him for the remainder of his career, if it hasn’t begun to already.

Update – Paul Dottino is now reporting that Bradshaw will not play this week in New England.

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  24. brisulph says:

    One thing to add Jimmy… his fumbling has not been a huge issue this year (unlike last year). I think he has dropped 1 ball (maybe two), which is an improvement. Not perfect obviously, but better.

    I think the bigger issue is the continual decline of Jacobs (since 2008). This si the guy that is now being asked to carry the load for the Giants (with Bradshaw dinged up/out).

  25. cwel87 says:

    Right fifth metatarsal is in the region of his pinkie toe. That part of the foot does less weight-bearing than the rest of the foot, so it’s not as *big* a deal.

    That being said, if Bradshaw plays, I have a new-found respect for him, and I already think a lot of the dude’s toughness. I just don’t think it’d be the right decision for him in either the short- or the long-term.

  26. giants fan says:

    Bradshaw might be done, but I’m more worried about the blitz pick up than our running game. I think there are very few “special” running backs in the NFL and for most of them if you can open up holes they’ll pick up the yards.

  27. Immynimmy says:

    In addition to that, the Giants can’t run the ball this season with Bradshaw, Jacobs, Scott or Ware. They are 30th in the league in rushing yards per game…30th!!! I know that they had a major rehaul of their line this past offseason, but when I watch Giants games, their RBs just don’t seem to ever make big plays…or even good plays at that. Jacobs is not even close to his 2007/08 form. Scott and Ware are role players at best, and Bradshaw just doesn’t seem to be able to kick it to the next level. If the Giants plan on making the playoffs…the better hope Eli can carry the team…and no offense to Eli, but I don’t think he can (has he ever?)

    1. peterhad says:

      i think he was able to get better yards as a backup because Jacobs was wearing down the defense. As he declined, he helped Bradshaw less. Then this year, our oline collapsed.
      Also, he is a BEAST pass blocker, something like a 0.5% pressure rate last season, best in the league.

      1. Will says:

        It’s like Felix Jones’ decline. The less you play, the easier it is to have a higher YPC. it’s really hard to be a work horse back, have a YPC 5+, which is why Jim Brown was so impressive.

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