New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty hasn't stepped foot on a football field all year, thanks to an offseason knee surgery that landed him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. But Canty never thought he would need six weeks to get the knee ready and he returned to practice as soon as he was eligible to, so there's no reason to think he won't be ready to suit up Sunday when the Giants face off with Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
But if Canty is added to the 53-man roster, somebody needs to be removed from it to make room. Who's the unlucky chap that's released or placed on Injured Reserve (IR)? Well, let's take a look at some of the candidates.
Markus Kuhn/Marvin Austin: Many will probably be inclined to put a sawbuck on fellow defensive tackle Kuhn, the 7th-round draft pick. He's eligible for the practice squad, but he might have put enough on tape that he won't make it through waivers. Besides, Kuhn started the San Francisco 49ers game over Austin. The Giants invested a 2nd rounder in Austin just two years ago, so it's hard to see them cutting their losses so soon. And since Austin still has practice squad eligibility as well, we wonder if anybody would bother claiming a guy who hasn't really played in three years.
Rocky Bernard: Sure, it sounds crazy and we highly doubt it because he's played pretty well this year. But if the Giants think Kuhn can contribute now and they value the youth and potential of Kuhn and Austin, we suppose it's not totally out of the question.
Adewale Ojomo: Not a defensive tackle, but a defensive lineman nonetheless…and one who has been buried on the bench at that. Ojomo also has practice squad eligibility. He's been bothered by a hamstring injury, which has us wondering if he hits IR a la Victor Cruz in year one.
Mitch Petrus: Wouldn't be the first time he was cut this year. And with David Diehl healthy and waiting on the sidelines in a reserve role, Petrus is so buried he likely won't ever dress. We suppose Jim Cordle is also an option, especially since Kevin Boothe is really the backup center.
Jerrel Jernigan: Much like Marvin Austin, we'd be surprised to see the Giants cut their losses on Jernigan simply because they recently invested a 3rd-round pick on him. But let's be honest here: this is the one guy on this team that has absolutely no roll. Dead last on the depth chart and by a far margin, absolutely zero special teams ability. With Domenik Hixon playing well as the third receiver and Ramses Barden and Reuben Randle showing they can contribute if their number is called, would anybody really miss Jernigan?
Justin Tryon: The last cornerback on the depth chart, the Giants don't have much use for Tryon as long as Jayron Hosley, Prince Amukamara, Corey Webster and Michael Coe are on the field. Again, less likely, but if Kenny Phillips is ready to return in the near future the Giants should have enough healthy defensive backs.
Speaking of safeties, the Giants didn't have to make any tough decisions when Tyler Sash returned from suspension the other week because Will Hill went on the suspended list…which leaves us wondering: what happens when Hill returns? We suppose it could be Hill himself who doesn't find a job when he returns, but we doubt it. It could mean Sash's return is short-lived, or that Tryon or one of the offensive linemen or Jernigan is back on the block.
Of course, the remainder of Hill's suspension leaves plenty of time for an injury to open up a spot. In the case of Chris Canty, when he returns this week, the Giants won't have that same luxury. The Turk lurks.
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