The Giants' manpower shortage at defensive tackle would be alleviated if Chris Canty returned to the field, but neither he nor the Giants know when that will occur.
Canty, who started every game in the Giants' 2011 championship season, is on the physically unable to perform list. He underwent knee surgery in the offseason and is still in rehabilitation.
With Shaun Rogers, Marvin Austin and Martin Parker sidelined – Rogers and Parker are out for the season – the Giants have four healthy defensive tackles. But Canty can't suddenly declare himself fit to step on the field and provide help.
"Obviously, I would like to be out there with my teammates," Canty said today. "When (Tom) Coach Coughlin feels like that's appropriate, and the medical staff feels like that's appropriate, that's what we'll do. Until then, my hands are kind of tied. The guys who we have in that position, we have confidence that they can step up and they can make big plays. They've done it in the past, and we have confidence that they can continue to do that."
Canty is an eight-year NFL veteran entering his fourth Giants season. He played all 16 games in all but one of his first seven seasons – 2009, his first year with the Giants. Ideally, Canty would return in time to play in the regular season opener on September 5 vs. Dallas, but he seems skeptical that is possible.
"It's tough to say," Canty said. "It's a matter of making sure that we can put together enough good days, making sure that I'm feeling good, and in the kind of shape that I would need to be in to compete at a high level. I'm not going to rule it out, it's still a possibility. Obviously, I would definitely look forward to being out there on opening day with my guys, being able to hunt. We'll see.
"I'm definitely getting better, just with the level of activity. What we're able to do, my general feelings about it, dealing with pain, things like that. So, it's continuing to progress. We knew this was going to be a long process. Obviously, I didn't think it was going to be this long, but I think we're being smart about it, taking the right approach. It's important for me to do everything that I can do physically to make sure that when I do get the clearance to step out there on the field, I'm ready to go."