Austin hoping to make debut on Sunday

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Defensive tackle Marvin Austin practiced on Monday and hopes to play on Sunday against Tampa Bay.

“We’ll see,” head coach Tom Coughlin said of Austin making his season debut. “I think how he comes back tomorrow, we’ll know a little better.”

Austin has been sidelined by a back injury since training camp. He wants to play but says the decision is up to the medical staff.

“The trainers are going to do what’s the smartest thing for the player and I want to do what’s the smartest thing for the team,” Austin said. “So it’s kind of like do I come back and play through a little bit or do I just wait till I’m 100 percent. I just feel like I got to go out there and help those guys because I understand what it is to have those types of reps at defensive tackle.”

Austin saw how many snaps starters Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard had to take in the season opener against Dallas. Markus Kuhn came in for a few snaps as well.

The Giants can use Austin for depth and size inside.

“I feel good out there,” Austin said. “I need to be out there performing and showing the organization that I appreciate them picking me.”

It’s possible that the Giants could finally have both of their first two draft picks from last year on the field together in a regular season game. Prince Amukamara has been recovering from a high ankle sprain and practiced on Monday for the first time since suffering the injury on Aug. 24. He hopes to play on Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Austin missed all of his rookie season on injured reserve. He’s hoping to make his Giants debut this Sunday.

“I’ve been with [the trainers] every day forever,” Austin said. “Even the days off, I’m in here. Just making sure that I relay how I feel to them as best as I can and they’re going to give me the best information because this is not the first time they dealt with what I’m dealing with.”

“So I’ve just got to be smart because the worst thing I would want to do is hurt myself and be back to where I was last year.”