It sounds like Osi Umenyiora’s knee has healed up enough for him to get back on the field.
The chip on his shoulder still remains, however.
In comments released by the Giants on Friday, Umenyiora said that he feels like his surgically repaired knee is well enough for him to play against the Cardinals, but that the final decision about traveling and playing remains up to Tom Coughlin. If Umenyiora is cleared to play, he doesn’t think that the team will hold him back.
“I don’t think I’ll be limited. I think they wouldn’t even put me in that situation if they thought I was going to be limited. If they allow me to travel and dress and play, I’m going to be full-go.”
Jeff Roberts of the Bergen Record shares those comments, but also adds some other topics of conversation that weren’t in the transcript released by the team. Umenyiora is ready to put his injury behind him, but he’s not quite ready to put the other drama of his brief offseason holdout and participation in the players’ lawsuit against the league in the past.
“I always have a chip on my shoulder. I feel like I’m constantly disrespected,” Umenyiora said. “And I always feel like I need to prove myself, and this season is no different than last season and the season before and probably going to be the same way next season. Something’s going to happen. I’m going be disrespected again and I’m going to go out there and have to prove myself all over again. But that’s the way it is.”
Umenyiora said he felt disrespected “in general” when asked specifically if he thought the Giants disrespected him. Since the Giants are the team that isn’t giving him the new contract that he wants and since this is an annual issue between him and the team, it is hard to imagine who else he feels the need to prove himself to before being disrespected again.
Umenyiora’s fellow defensive end Justin Tuck responded affirmatively when asked if he planned to play on Sunday. He returned to practice after missing Thursday’s session with neck and groin injuries, although he said his body “felt like crap.” With Jason Pierre-Paul playing very well so far this season, anything at all from their two veteran defensive ends could make Sunday a long day for Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb.