Having only been in the NFL for three seasons, Denver Broncos‘ defensive tackle, Marvin Austin is well-traveled. Austin was selected in the second round (52nd overall) in the 2011 draft by the New York Giants. After two less-than-remarkable seasons with the “Football” Giants – including his rookie season which was cut short with a torn pectoral muscle in the final preseason game – he had a cup of coffee each with the Miami Dolphins and the Dallas Cowboys in 2013.
On May 5th, the Broncos took a flier on Austin as a free agent and added him to an already crowded defensive line corps. During practice in early November with the Cowboys, Marvin re-aggravated a back injury he had been dealing with for two years and was cut shortly thereafter. Austin saw renowned back surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins and learned he had an enlarged disk. On November 14th, he under went microdisectomy surgery between the L3 and L4 vertebra and a Laminotomy between the L3 and L2 to remove a large section of disk and bone.
Austin explained to Mike Evans and Vic Lombardi of The Fan Morning Show on KKFN in Denver that he had been flirting with disaster.
“The disk was probably four centimeters big and they said it was the biggest disk that they’ve seen at that level and they didn’t understand how I was still walking.” Austin continued, “I could have been paralyzed and I played with that for two years.”
Asked how he’s feeling now:
“I feel ten million times better now.”
That is good news for not only Marvin, but potentially for the Broncos. The Austin signing was a low-risk, high-reward deal. Denver did not have to commit too much money to him and if he lives up to his potential, this may end up being the best free agent acquisition of this past off season.
Austin joins, Terrance Knighton, Kevin Vickerson, Sylvester Williams, Sione Fua, Cody Larson, and Mitch Unrein in a very crowded roster of defensive tackles. If Austin pans out, and so far, he is opening eyes in camp, that will be great news for an already stacked defensive line. Unfortunately, it will also mean that we might have to say goodbye to one or two fan favorites (out of respect to those players, I will not mention them by name). That’s just the business, I guess. Tomorrow night’s preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks will provide some perspective on his progress as he and Vickerson will rotate out with “Pot Roast” (Knighton) and Williams on the interior of the defensive line. And yes, any opportunity to drop Knighton’s nickname, I will do it.
To me, this defensive line battle is going to be the most intriguing of any position in Broncos’ camp this year. No matter how it plays out, we may end up having the best crop of DTs in the NFL.
HEY…I did a whole article with out mentioning PFM! Until now I guess.