Thornton sympathizes for injured Giants RB Wilson

Thornton sympathizes for injured Giants RB Wilson
August 6, 2014, 12:30 pm
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Cedric Thornton's near-safety tackle on Giants RB David Wilson in Week 5 last year led to Wilson's first neck injury. (USA Today Images)

Eagles defensive end Cedric Thornton expressed sympathy for injured Giants running back David Wilson, who’s giving up football after suffering his second neck injury in less than a year.

It was Thornton’s tackle -- and near safety --- on Wilson in a Week 5 game last year that led to Wilson’s first neck injury, which forced the second-year tailback to miss the entire season. Wilson eventually underwent spinal fusion surgery and recently gained medical clearance to resume playing but re-injured his neck in Monday’s preseason opener.

“I made a play,” Thornton said after practice Tuesday. “It’s a bad situation, so I talked to my wife about it. We just pray for him, the situation to get better. The doctors might tell him he can’t play football again but God has the last say, so we’re definitely praying for the Wilson family.

“He’s a young man, he’s 23, and I’m just praying that God gave him a sense of direction to go somewhere else in the future in the business world, and hopefully he will be as successful as he was in football.”

In a release, the Giants said doctors advised Wilson to give up football. In a statement, Wilson didn’t say he was retiring but mentioned “literally walking away from the game.” Wilson, a 2012 first-round pick out of Virginia Tech, played just 21 career games and started six. He had figured to be the Giants’ starting running back this season if he had stayed healthy.

The tackle Thornton made on Wilson last September wasn’t vicious, illegal or anything close to barbaric, which Thornton said illustrated how close every NFL player is to playing his last snap.

“Definitely don’t want to take it for granted,” he said. “I tell the guys in the room out there, ‘You never know when it’s your last time you step out on there on that field, so you want to attack it like it’s your last time.' Like I said, we’re just praying for him, and hopefully the situation turns out better for him, and he gets another opportunity to step onto the field.”

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