EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Defensive tackle Chris Canty chose his words carefully after the New York Giants put him on the reserve-physically unable to perform list to start the 2012 season.
The eight-year veteran never said he disagreed with the move that will sideline him for at least six games. The 29-year-old lineman, however, made it clear on Monday that the Giants and their medical staff decided that his surgically repaired knee needed more time to heal.
It was their decision, not his. In fact, Canty insisted he is close to being ready. But either way, he cannot suit up until at least Oct. 18, when New York takes on Washington.
"I'm not gonna say I saw it coming," Canty said "Obviously, I was optimistic about it. I feel good, I feel in pretty good shape considering all the factors. I stand by the position 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."
Canty had a knee — neither he nor the team has said which one — cleaned out after the Giants beat the New England Patriots to win their second Super Bowl in five seasons. In minicamp, he insisted he would be ready for the season opener on Sept. 5 against the Dallas Cowboys, the team that drafted him.
But when training camp opened, Canty was placed on the PUP and he never looked ready. He was seen on the sideline running after the team returned to New Jersey, but that was it. Canty said the Giants told him the decision recently. He was not given the chance to plead his case otherwise.
"Yeah it is disappointing," he said. "But at the end of the day, what can you do?"
Canty refused to get into the specifics of his surgery.
He said he played a least a third of last season on a bad knee and his career would not have continued had he not addressed the injury.