If Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora has his way, he’ll make his 2011 debut Sunday when New York travels to Arizona for Sunday’s game.
Of course, if Umenyiora had his way, he’d also be making more than the $3.125 million he’s scheduled to earn this season.
But despite the ongoing contract dispute with Giants general manager Jerry Reese. Umenyiora said he has stopped contemplating his next financial move. He just wants to play again.
"Money can't be a motivator for you on the actual football field," Umenyiora said, via the New York Daily News. "That's not the way I've ever been. We'll have the offseason to think about that. But not right now."
Umenyiora has been out of action since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in August that was supposed to keep him out three to four weeks. It’s been a little longer than that, but this week was the first week Umenyiora practiced all three days, so it seems there’s a pretty good chance he’ll suit up and step out on the field.
|Osi's road back|
And while Umenyiora’s contract issues probably won’t be in the forefront of Umenyiora’s mind, it probably will be hard to erase it completely.
"I feel like I'm constantly disrespected," he said. "I always feel like I need to prove myself. This season is no different from next season or the season before."
He means that in the most general way possible and it wasn’t specifically pointed at Reese and the Giants front office. He also said that if the Giants take him on the trip to Arizona, (which, according to Giants Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin, he did), he’s definitely going to play.
And if Tuck can’t play -- and that seems likely -- the Giants are going to need Umenyiora for a squad which continues to have major injury problems on defense.
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