These days, the Giants are latching onto any able-bodied defensive linemen they can find.
But one of them said Tuesday he considered walking away mid-season last year.
Defensive end Justin Tuck told Steve Serby of the New York Post he considered retirement, at a time when shoulder problems and the emotional toll of some family grief made him wonder if he was helping the team.
“After the hardships of last year, I did some soul-searching, and really had to ask myself if this is what I want,” Tuck said. “Obviously, I’m back, and I just feel kind of refreshed mentally. I think a lot of things were weighing on me last year where I couldn’t necessarily be my normal self on and off the football field.
“I’ve kind of put those things in the past now and moved forward.”
Tuck lost his grandfather last August and an uncle in September, and coupled with the shoulder problems that left him playing one-armed, he said he thought about retiring at “several points.”
“Sure. Definitely did. I contemplated it,” Tuck said. “But, I think that was just me feeling sorry for myself for a little bit there.”
He said after talking to family and friends, he realized “this is what I love to do, and I’m not ready to give it up regardless of the hardships.”
“I think for a little while, like I said, I felt sorry for myself because of the fact that I’m sitting here saying like, ‘Why is all this happening to me?’” Tuck said. “I don’t think I was thinking clearly. After winning the Super Bowl, getting away from football for a while allowed me just to think clearly.”
It’s a good thing for the Giants, who obviously couldn’t take another hit to a thin group.