With the first wave of roster cuts and moves complete for the New York Giants, the biggest concern should be placed on the presence of Chris Canty’s name on the list of players who will join the Physically Unable to Perform List. The starting defensive tackle is still recovering from a surgically prepared knee that has kept him sidelined thus far.
Canty’s inclusion on the PUP list means that the starting defensive tackle will be unavailable for the first six games of the regular season, leaving a massive void along the Giants’ defensive front that they likely would have preferred to have avoided.
For most teams, such a move may have been devastating. Canty is one of the premier run stoppers in the NFL and his play is invaluable to the Giants’ success. In 2011, he recorded 47 tackles, four sacks and a safety. Replicating the type of boost Canty gives the Giants defense will not be an easy task.
However, the Giants boast phenomenal depth along their defensive line—as they always do. Veteran Rocky Bernard should see plenty of opportunities in his place alongside Linval Joseph.
The Giants have numerous packages available to counteract Canty’s absence. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell always has some twisted little plays in mind that enable him to have all three of his superstar defensive ends (Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul) on the field. Meanwhile, young players like Dwayne Hendricks and Adewale Ojomo are stepping up in preseason and proving they deserve playing time as well.
Don’t get me wrong, the Giants will miss Canty. He is a vital force along the Giants’ defensive front that could be depended on every week. But his absence will not weigh as heavily as the injuries that have once again hampered the secondary. The Giants are handcuffed and will be forced to scramble to discover what works and what doesn’t.
Prince Amukamara’s status is uncertain, Terrell Thomas is out indefinitely and much of the depth the Giants signed during the offseason is questionable at best.
The loss of Canty for the first six games of the regular season will hurt, but at least the Giants have the talent and capabilities to fill the void while he is gone.