New York Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin, right, lines up...

New York Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin, right, lines up opposite guard Mitch Petrus during training camp in East Rutherford, N.J. (Aug. 3, 2011) Credit: AP

Marvin Austin has already missed one full season of football due to an NCAA suspension. Now he’s about to miss a second, this time because of an injury suffered in last night’s preseason game against the Bears.

Austin tore his left pectoral muscle and will require surgery on it, Tom Coughlin said. While Coughlin did know for certain if Austin will be put in injured reserve and miss the entire season, he made it sound as though that is the likely outcome.

The Giants were giddy when Austin was available to them in the second round of the draft in April. They saw him as one of the top 15 players in the entire field and were happy to grab him with the 52nd overall selection. Austin was playing well, showed some explosiveness, and was probably going to be in the rotation at defensive tackle playing behind Linval Joseph at the start of the season. I and some others had predicted that they would flip-flop those roles before the season ended.

The Giants thought they had two immediate contributors to their defense when they made their first two picks in April. Now neither will be available to them at the start of the season. First-round pick Prince Amukamara is sidelined for another 8 weeks or so after fracturing a bone in his foot in only his second practice with the Giants after a week-long holdout.

As for Austin, he’ll have to wait even longer than he thought he would to play in his next meaningful football game. His last one was in December 26, 2009, in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against Pitt. His next one won’t be until September 2012. That’s almost three full years.

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