After New York Giants rookie defensive tackle Markus Kuhn tore his ACL in a 31-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, it was inevitable that he would wind up on season-ending Injured Reserve (IR). On Thursday, the Giants made it official, shutting Kuhn down for the remainder of the year.
Because they're on their bye week, the Giants have not yet made a corresponding roster move, leaving them with only 52 active players. However, with no practice until next week, there's no major rush to fill that void, which would explain why they held a very crowded private workout earlier this week.
Still, Big Blue may not jump at the chance to add another defensive tackle. And although familiar faces like Jimmy Kennedy and Marcus Thomas remain available, the team will likely opt to rely on second-year DT Marvin Austin.
“Hey, it’s time now,” defensive line coach Robert Nunn said. “He’s got to show up, and he’s got to strap it on, and be ready to perform and produce, and there’s no excuses. So we’ll see how that unfolds.”
After missing his rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle, his second season got off to an equally disastrous start due to a back injury. However, Austin has played through it -something he says is still lingering- but has failed to make a significant impact on the field. He had recently been pushed back down the depth chart, and was a healthy inactive against the Bengals in week 10.
“It’s the NFL; there’s no feeling sorry for you,” Austin said. “You’ve got to get out there, get better, and do your job, and be able to help the team, or they’ll find somebody else.”
Austin now has, perhaps, the best opportunity he's going to get. Not only will he likely be active for the remainder of the season, he's going to get plenty of opportunities to open eyes.
Photo Credit: Mike Gannon
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