Has Ojomo's turn come at last?

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Before each game, Giants general manager Jerry Reese has a brief conversation with rookie defensive end Adewale Ojomo.

"He tells me just stay ready and he asks me if I had to play today, could I?" Ojomo said on Friday. "I always tell him, 'Yeah.' Just look him in the eye and tell him 'Yeah.' Just waiting. I want to play, get out there and show what I can do."

As the least experienced member of the defensive line, Ojomo is patiently waiting his turn to see the field as the season nears its end. Ojomo has only been active for one game this season, against Cleveland on Oct. 7, but he could be considered this week with veteran Justin Tuck questionable for the game.

"I'm staying ready," Ojomo said. "I'm ready to play. I can't wait to play."

Ojomo, who went undrafted out of Miami, said he usually doesn't find out if he'll dress until the last minute. He's currently listed as the sixth defensive end on the depth chart, and it's been tough to secure his spot among the 46 who dress. In the one game he did play, he was on special teams.

The defensive end was the star of the preseason, posting four sacks and earning praise from teammates and coaches. The Giants are loaded at the position, but, fearing other teams may snatch him up, kept Ojomo on their final 53-man roster.

While it's not surprising Ojomo isn't getting much playing time, he still yearns to be out there each Sunday.

"It's been tough but I gotta be patient and wait my turn," Ojomo said. "I know Jerry Reese and the coaching staff, Tom Coughlin and everybody, they know what they're doing. I just got to be patient."

Ojomo said he understands a rookie must pay his dues. He described this year as a "learning process" in which he's studied how the team operates and prepares for games. With Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka around, he said he's tried to absorb as much as he can.

Ojomo has also used his time to beef up -- since he doesn't play, he can lift weights five times a week. Ojomo said he's the strongest he's ever been. For the 6-4, 270-pound end, the season has turned into a developmental year, both physically and mentally.

It's also been like a redshirt year in college for Ojomo, with one big difference.

"(It's) like a paid redshirt year," Ojomo said. "That's what it is."