EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants no longer have the time to groom rookie running back David Wilson.

The first-round draft pick is going to have to start contributing as Ahmad Bradshaw’s backup in the final five games of the regular season, starting Monday against the Washington Redskins.

Wilson was thrown into the role Sunday when Andre Brown broke his left leg in the fourth quarter of New York’s 38-10 win over the Green Bay Packers.

On most teams, the backup spot might mean a couple of carries a game.

For the Giants (7-4), though, the role is different because of Bradshaw’s foot problems. He has dealt with them for years, usually playing in pain. One bad step and Wilson becomes the No. 1 back … in the middle of a playoff race.

“Andre played a big role in our offense, so with his absence somebody’s going to have to definitely step up on the offensive side of the ball,” Wilson said. “And, you know, the coaches told me that I’m the next guy, so I’ve been preparing and hopefully I’ll be ready when they call my number.”

When they took Wilson with the final pick of the first round, the Giants believed that the Virginia Tech product would add a breakaway dimension to the run game. He had the speed to go run inside and outside, and during preseason, he displayed it at times.

Wilson, however, lost a fumble in Dallas territory in the opener and his role in the offense disappeared. Brown snapped it up and received 73 carries, in which he compiled 385 yards, before the injury.

Through 11 games, Wilson has had 24 carries for 102 yards, with 40 coming on his only touchdown of the season. His biggest contribution has been on kickoff returns, where he has averaged 25.3 yards on 40 attempts. He was close to breaking a few early in the season but he hasn’t been as dangerous lately.

“It’s his time,” Coach Tom Coughlin. “The timing as far as where he’s coming from couldn’t be any better, I don’t think.”