Unless you’re important, of course, because the really important defensive linemen who power the defending champs and their pass rush aren’t getting hurt yet. You know, the guys named Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Osi Umenyiora. You know, the guys who combined to have 30.5 of the Giants’ 48 sacks last year. Yeah, those guys.
The problem, though, is that if one of those guys ever goes down, there’s beginning to be some serious depth questions around them on the Giants D-line due to the sudden outbreak of serious (and in one case, season ending) training camp injuries.
Reliable depth is important at any position, because players sometimes collide in football, and sometimes those collisions break body parts and stuff. But for the Giants and their defense that’s anchored by pressure up front, having solid depth among the defensive linemen is especially crucial since two of the three studs mentioned above (Tuck and Umenyiora) combined for 11 missed games last year.
And in mid-August, the Giants have lost Shaun Rogers for the season, and they could also head into September without Chris Canty and Marvin Austin.
Rogers is the most significant blow, and he’s been ruled out for the year with a blood clot. Head coach Tom Coughlin said the injury caused a very large man to become a slightly smaller man.
“It’s very sad because do you know the real story? He lost 50 pounds! He went from high 380s to 334 (pounds) to check in at. He was really excited about being a part of this team. He actually asked to play some more snaps the other night. It is just a shame.”
“Obviously, it is your health first. And the only way I guess they can control these things are with these blood-thinning drugs and once you do that, you are done. You can’t take a chance.”
The 12-year veteran was signed to provide insurance in case Canty wasn’t able to return early in the season as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. He’s currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, while Austin, the second-round pick in 2011 who missed all of last season after he tore his pectoral, is nursing a serious back injury. He went to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, which is the wrong name for a hospital if you’re hoping to avoid a season-altering procedure.
But we’re not done yet. Martin Parker, another backup DT, will need surgery for a herniated disk, and defensive end Justin Trattou will miss a few more weeks with a heel injury. So yeah, the Giants might be in the market for a defensive tackle. Or eight.
Put down that basketball, Anthony Adams. This is your chance.
Pic via SB Nation