New York Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin has not played a meaningful football game in over two years. After being suspended for his senior season at North Carolna, he missed all of Big Blue's 2011 campaign with a torn pectoral muscle. To exacerbate his injury woes, Austin missed a majority of the team's preseason with back issues. However, tomorrow may be the first time we get to see the team's 2011 second-round pick in regular season action.
While Austin remains a game time decision, his return would provide quality depth to a defensive line that struggled to either stop the run, or create a consistent pass rush in Week one. While it would be unfair to expect meaningful production from a guy who has been out of football for so long, it's just good to have Marvin Austin back on the field again.
“You take it for granted,” said Austin. “You’re like, ‘I’m going to be in the league. I’m going to be this, I’m going to be that.’ You think too much of yourself, and that’s what it was. I was humbled.”
It may not be such a bad thing for a player with documented character issues to be humbled in his first years in the NFL. While Austin will only going to get better on the field by playing, he's definitely had to learn his place so far during his short career. Despite being a talented player, he fell to the wayside last season as the Giants marched to a Super Bowl title.
“Nobody talks to you, there aren’t any cameras, there aren’t any people wanting to talk to you,” Austin said. “You got to really look into yourself and ask yourself, ‘What are you doing it for? Why do you play?’?I just make sure I keep everything in perspective.”
That likely won't change against Tampa Bay. With Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard each playing well, Marvin Austin will struggle for playing time in Week two. Furthermore, 2012 seventh-round pick Markus Kuhn may also see time ahead of Austin.
However, the only way Marvin Austin will ever fit into the Giants plans is if he steps on the field. He can not get better by watching from the sideline. So it should be interesting to see what decision head coach Tom Coughlin makes as the team makes its final preparations for Tampa Bay.
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