Da'Rel Scott was not a lock to crack the New York Giants' 53-man roster. Injuries and a wealth of talented running backs on the roster admittedly had the running back fearing for his job come cut down day.
But Scott, who has a multitude of skills -- as a third-down back, kick returner and special teams contributor -- landed a spot on the team, and now will back up David Wilson at running back in the season opener.
Thrust into a more significant role, Scott said his mindset has not changed; he'll continue to prepare like a starter so he's ready if the coaches call on him during the game.
"I prepare myself like I'm going to play every game, whether I'm third, fourth in the rotation or whether I'm first or second," Scott said. "I have to prepare the same way just because of the situation. I have to make sure I'm on top of it, make sure I prepare myself and just make sure they trust me in the game."
Scott, 24, is entering his third season in New York and coming off of a 2012 campaign in which he played in just four games due to injuries.
Now, with Andre Brown sidelined for at least the first two months of the season, Scott -- who made the team over Ryan Torrain -- will be the Giants' No. 2 option in the backfield.
"Da'Rel is going to play. There's no question about that, and he's going to have to play well for us," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "He's going to be a big part of what we're doing ... You know he's got the speed and you know if there's a hole there, he's going to exploit that and he's got a chance, speed-wise, to go the distance. I think we're just waiting to see that, just show us something special as a running back."
Scott admitted he was sweating it out last weekend when the Giants were required to slash the roster down to 53. He said he found out he made the team when his brother looked up the final roster and his friends began to call him.
On Sunday, Scott believes he'll be prepared for whatever the Giants' coaches throw his way, reassuring them on their decision to keep him on the roster.
"I have a huge opportunity to let the organization know that we don't have to bring anybody yet," he said. "I have to have my faith and prove to them that I deserve to be here."