Chris Canty says he never saw this coming.
Canty, who had knee surgery in the offseason, never thought the Giants and their medical staff were going to shut him down. He never thought he wouldn't be ready to play sometime early in the season, helping to anchor the Super Bowl champions' formidable defensive line.
Yet here he was Monday afternoon, standing in the press room, trying to explain why the team had decided to put him on the physically unable to perform list.
"It's tough," said Canty, who will have to sit out at least the first six regular-season games. "It's disappointing. They want to be smart. They want to be cautious, but it's going to be tough for me."
Canty started 16 games in each of the last two seasons. He was the most prominent of the 15 players removed from the Giants' roster Monday in order to reach the NFL's required roster limit of 75.
Tight end Travis Beckum, who tore his ACL during the Giants' Super Bowl win over the Patriots, also was put on the PUP list.
The Giants put offensive lineman Brandon Mosley, a fourth-round pick, on injured reserve with an ankle injury. They waived defensive backs Antwaun Molden, Brandon Bing, Chris Horton and JoJo Nicolas, tight ends Ryan Purvis and Chris Hopkins, defensive tackles Carlton Powell and Oren Wilson, receivers Julian Talley and Brandon Collins, running back Joe Martinek and offensive tackle Joel Reinders.
Under NFL rules, Canty and Beckum cannot play or practice until Week 6 is completed. They then have three weeks to begin practicing and another three weeks to be added to the active roster. If they are not activated by that point, they will be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Canty has been evasive about the nature of his knee injury and surgery, even declining to specify which knee is the problem. He had long believed, however, that it would be fine by the start of training camp. It was clear Monday that he did not completely agree with the team's decision to put him on the PUP list.
"I was told what the decision was," Canty said when asked if he had input in the decision. " . . . I stand by the position that my knee is better than it was November, December, January of last season. But ultimately, this was a decision that was made in the best interest of the football team."
Rocky Bernard figures to replace Canty in the starting lineup against the Cowboys in the regular-season opener Sept. 5.
Coach Tom Coughlin said the team "sort of expected" Canty would have to be put on the PUP list. He added, however, that he does believe he will be able to rejoin the team in mid-October.
Canty believes he will be playing after the six weeks. But he knows it is up to the team to clear him.
"I don't have a crystal ball," he said. "If you were to ask me if I would start the season on PUP, I'd say there's no chance. But here I am."