With New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski on the sidelines with a knee injury — one that could keep him on the PUP List to begin the 2013 season — Ryan D'Imperio is looking at this summer as an opportunity to make a name for himself.
Both the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs didn't see a need for D'Imperio on the team and released him in his short time in the NFL, but the former Rutgers University linebacker turned fullback is using those releases as motivation and wants to prove both Minnesota and Kansas City wrong for letting him go.
“It’s an opportunity. Any time you’re on the field, it’s an opportunity to show what you can do,” the free-agent pickup said. “It’s your resume that you’re putting out there, you’re trying to make the team you’re on and you’re trying to put film out there for other teams in case you get released.”
D'Imperio will have a great opportunity handed to him on Saturday when he is in the starting lineup for the Giants as the team's starting fullback against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first preseason action of the summer. D'Imperio has been splitting time in the first-team offense with tight end Bear Pascoe, who was moved over to fullback with Hynoski on the sidelines recovering. Saturday's game is something D'Imperio told Zack Braziller of the New York Post that he is really looking forward to.
“I feel good going into the game,” D’Imperio said. “I feel prepared and ready to go.”
After being drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Vikings, he spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad, but did see some action on special teams in 2011, as he played in 12 games, but was released after the season. He was on the Chiefs roster in 2012, but never appeared in a game last year. Now playing in the same state that he played his college years in, D'Imperio would like the idea of calling East Rutherford his place of employment.
“It’s nice to be here,” he said. “It feels like … home.”
D'Imperio's fate for making the Giants will fall on what happens with Hynoski, because if Hynoski is back for Week 1, then D'Imperio's chances likely diminish. But that likely won't stop the 25-year-old native New-Jerseyan from fighting like hell to make the team.
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