CANTON, Ohio – Andre Williams ran up some big numbers at Boston College. The fourth-round draft pick is showing glimpses that can do it for the New York Giants, too.
Williams had seven carries for 48 yards and scored on a 3-yard run in a 17-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game.
“It gives me confidence. I feel like I’m supposed to be here,” said Williams, who led the nation with 2,177 yards rushing last season. “I’m part of the team now.”
And a more important part with David Wilson sidelined after sustaining his second neck injury in less than a year.
Filling the No. 2 spot behind newly acquired starter Rashad Jennings, the Heisman Trophy finalist helped provide the Giants’ re-tooled backfield a 1-2 punch.
“I though he played well, and that was encouraging,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “David Wilson’s injury not-withstanding, it’s very important to us no matter what, because you need a natural rotation.”
Williams’ score, which came after a 21-yard scamper off left tackle, put the Giants up 7-3 late in the first quarter.
Rookie receiver Corey Washington scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 73-yard pass up the right sideline from backup Ryan Nassib with 13:18 remaining. Washington reached back to catch the partly under-thrown pass, then stepped around flat-footed defender Kamaal McIlwain.
Nassib, competing for the backup spot, went 7 of 12 for 139 yards.
Starter Eli Manning played three series, and finished 6 of 7 for 43 yards, but lost a fumble.
For Buffalo, starting quarterback EJ Manuel had several lapses during two series. He completed just 2 of 7 attempts for 19 yards, and nearly had a pass intercepted by linebacker Jacquian Williams inside the New York 10. Manuel never looked off his intended target Sammy Watkins and was fortunate to have Williams bat the ball down.