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Markus Kuhn looks close to coming off PUP, but should he?

Markus Kuhn looks on during the second day

Markus Kuhn looks on during the second day of Giants rookie camp. (May 12, 2012) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Markus Kuhn ran wind sprints on a side field and looked good doing it Thursday. The second-year defensive tackle remains on PUP after having an ACL reconstruction, but he’s showing signs that he may be close to healthy enough to lose the designation and return to the active roster.

The question then becomes: Should he?

As long as he is on PUP, he’s safe. He can stay there through the first part of the regular season and not count against the 53-man roster. But the minute he comes off he becomes another defensive tackle in a group that is already very crowded.

“I see a lot of guys making our defensive coaches and coaching staff’s job very difficult,” Justin Tuck said of the depth at tackle Thursday. “The competition is very heated in that group. I really don’t see anybody out of that group that won’t have a job somewhere. Obviously we can’t keep them all. Everybody in our defensive line room, I think, has an opportunity to play somewhere this year. And that’s rare.

“Honestly, there’s been times in my career you look at guys we’ve got in that room and you just say, ‘He shouldn’t be here,’” Tuck continued. “But out of all the guys we have in that defensive line room, I don’t see anybody that doesn’t have the potential, doesn’t have the talent, to make a team somewhere, if it’s not here. That makes it tough. I’m glad I don’t have the job of making the cuts because we got a lot of guys that can play good football and have played good football.”

Adding another player that the Giants have high hopes for to that mix will only make decisions more difficult. Perhaps the smart move – not only in terms of Kuhn’s development but in terms of roster balance – is to keep him on PUP into the regular season. If there is a breakdown at the position in terms of injuries, Kuhn would be available to come back after Week 6.

Judging by the way he has been running in camp, he should be more than ready to play at that point. If he comes off PUP, though, he might end up being a cutdown-day casualty.

New York Sports