Report: Justin Tuck contemplated retirement

08/15/2012 4:13 PM ET
By Jon Lane
Justin Tuck almost made a decision to walk away from the game of football. A premiere defensive end for the New York Giants, Tuck told the New York Post he considered retiring at “several points” last season.

Tuck missed four games with injuries to his neck, shoulder, groin and toe. Those ailments, combined with the deaths of his grandfather and uncle, nearly forced him to hang up the cleats at the age of 28 and in the prime of his career.

“I contemplated (retiring)," Tuck told the Post. “But, I think that was just me feeling sorry for myself for a little bit there. After the hardships of last year, I did some soul-searching, and really had to ask myself if this is what I want."

Tuck’s five sacks in 2011 were his lowest in six seasons. Prior to a critical Week 16 game against the Jets Tuck and head coach Tom Coughlin had a heart-to-heart talk. Tuck responded with two sacks in the Giants’ final two games – both win-or-die during which the Giants prevailed to win the NFC East title – and 3.5 in the postseason, including two in Big Blue’s Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.

"He applied himself and played with his problems and played through them and played well," Coughlin told reporters during training camp earlier this month.

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