It’s comeback season for this undrafted player:
The New York Giants’ defense was putrid in 2017, with factors like injuries, time on the field, and the the lackluster abilities of the offense contributing to their fatigue and performance.
The injuries began to pile up early in the season, with previously undrafted defensive lineman Romeo Okwara being one of the first to go down with a sprained knee.
In his first season in the NFL, Okwara finished strong, taking on a big role after Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a sports hernia against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Notre Dame product amassed 25 total tackles, 12 solo, and a sack during the Wild Card loss to the Green Bay Packers back in 2016.
Needless to say, Okwara was expected to make a developmental jump in 2018, but the injury bug caught him right when he was getting into the groove.
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Here’s what Okwara said in regard to his injury according to Giants.com:
“That was definitely a damper for me,” Okwara said. “I’m not used to missing time. I’ve never missed time ever in my life.”
“It was definitely a down year for us but we learned a lot of things,” Okwara expressed. “We went through a lot of ups and downs but it was definitely great to finish on a win. That’s going to add some fuel to us when we train this offseason and hopefully come back next year very strong.”
Okwara returned from his sprained knee in week 16 of the 2017 regular season and suited up for the season finale against the Washington Redskins — a game the Giants won by the way.
The talented third-year edge rusher will be returning to a completely overhauled coaching staff and front-office, which will surely shake things up a bit. Ultimately, the change in culture should help Okwara reach his full potential; hopefully as well as he performed against the Dallas Cowboys in week 13 of the 2017 season (eight combined tackles and one sack).