NEW YORK (AP) — Two weeks after ending his NFL career due to a neck injury, former New York Giants running back David Wilson is turning to track and field.
The 23-year-old Wilson, who competed in the triple jump during high school and at Virginia Tech, intends to train in the event with an eye on making the United States team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Speaking to reporters Monday at Citi Field, where he addressed school children as part of the “Citi Kids” program, Wilson said he has already been working out and will start training with his former track coach on campus at Virginia Tech.
Wilson was drafted by the Giants in the first round, 32nd overall, out of Virginia Tech in 2012. As a rookie, he rushed for 358 yards and scored four touchdowns while making his mark as a kick returner. Wilson led the NFL with 1,533 yards in kickoff returns, a team record.
He got off to a slow start last season and missed the final 11 games after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal cord. Wilson underwent fusion surgery to repair vertebrae and a herniated disk in his neck in January and then felt numbness in his hands and lower extremities during training camp last month when he ran with his head down into the back of an offensive lineman.
He retired when he was told by doctors that he risked more serious problems if he kept playing.