Friday, August 24, 2012

DT questions

A week or so ago it looked like the Giants were in a bit of trouble with depth at the DT position. They lost Parker (not a great chance of making the team anyway) for the season due to injury. Shaun Rogers developed a blood clot and was presumed to be lost for the season. Marvin Austin developed back troubles with unknown severity and Canty was (is) still unable to get off PUP with that post surgical knee. Even Rocky Bernard, who was, almost by default promoted to be a starter on the depth chart has a somewhat balky knee that makes him better suited for a back up role. It seemed like the sky was falling on the DT position. But then the good news started rolling in: Dwayne Hendricks, he of last year's practice squad, played very well in practice and carried that play over to the preseason games. Austin's back appears to be a less serious injury than originally thought and he should return shortly. Draftee Markus Kuhn seems to be playing very well in flashes and to back fill for the loss of depth, Giants went out and signed a bunch of players, some of whom appear to be really good, including untested/undrafted Oren Wilson (R), with experienced veterans Carlton Powell and Marcus Thomas. Powell was a very good player for the Broncos last year and was not re-signed by Denver because of salary demands, not because of lack of production.

On top of all that, it appears that Rogers may not be out for the entire year as originally feared - his blood clot may clear up and he may be off of the blood thinning medication that would have prevented him from playing. Where they had a depth problem before, now it seems like they have a logjam. Nevertheless, it's unlikely they will carry more than 4 DTs going into the year. Assuming Canty is on PUP and Giants keep a roster exemption for him at the start of the season, Linval Joseph, Marvin Austin and Rocky Bernard seem like good bets to make the team. Hendricks, Kuhn and Powell, if he plays well in his preseason audition could also be in position to make the team. Giants may keep the players on the roster that they do not think they can stash on the practice squad without being snapped up by another team. Powell, with his veteran experience can not be put on practice squad and Hendricks, with what he's shown in preseason may also be grabbed by another team. Kuhn is a better candidate and might be put on the pracice squad. If Austin's back holds up, when Canty makes it back from the PUP list in the middle of the year, Rocky Bernard might get cut. Additionally, Bernard would probably not be taken by another team, so he would be available to come back to the Giants if they need him midseason because of injuries. I guess it's what the coaches call a "good problem to have" but it's tough and really not clear what the Giants will do. The availability of Shaun Rogers may not help him - it's tough to carry someone on the roster whose availability is so uncertain. Since he did not start the preseason on PUP he can't be pushed there, so he will probably not make the final 53.

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