The New York Giants are still unsure whether or not they will use cornerback Terrell Thomas in their second preseason game on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium.
Thomas has been on the recovery trail over the last two years as he is attempting to be only the second player in NFL history to successfully play after three ACL surgeries; two of which were in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012.
Despite not having him on the field, the Giants have wasted no time throwing Thomas to the wolves, as they have had him covering one of the team’s most prolific receivers on the offense in Victor Cruz, who on any given day is tough to cover as it is, much less for a guy trying to rehab a knee injury. But so far, it’s been good news for Thomas.
“They wanted to see what I can do,” Thomas said. “Victor’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player, a great Giant, and great competition for me to go against and get work and get better. We love the competition. I made a couple plays on him and vice-versa. We talked about it in the locker room, gassed each other up a little bit. But it’s fun.”
Thomas told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York that Tuesday’s practice was a big day for him because it was one of the first days where he could make cuts on his knees and not report any major pain. His knees definitely got tested while on the indoor field of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center when he got to cover Cruz and made some plays on the Pro Bowl receiver. The former second-round pick of the 2008 NFL Draft talked about why it was more difficult covering a slot receiver like Cruz as opposed to covering a receiver on the outside.
“The slot’s a lot harder,” Thomas said of covering the slot as opposed to being on the outside. “Because in our offense, Victor has the option to do whatever he wants. He can run in or out, and I have to be able to anticipate that and cover him and play my leverage. It’s definitely a lot harder in that respect. On the outside, you’re more on an island, but it’s more of a controlled island,” he continued. “I think that’s why they put me on the inside, want to see what I can do. And at the same time, you’re a little more protected with having outside leverage, inside leverage, zone principles, run protection, stuff like that.”
Each day that Thomas is on the field playing for the team, while on top of it, experiencing no pain in his surgically repaired knee, it’s a win-win situation for a player who has fought like hell to keep his NFL career going; one that started out with so much promise, but has been sidetracked due to injuries. Thomas said with each passing day, he’s gaining more confidence that he can be the kind of player that he expected to be for the Giants back in 2010.
“Each and every day, I feel myself getting a lot more confident, and playing and not thinking,” he later added. “I have made the cuts … Each and every day, I come back from practice, and my knee’s not swelling up, it’s not hurting me. And that’s the biggest thing.”
With Thomas returning to practice last week from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List, nobody would blame the Giants if they held him out of the game against the Colts on Sunday, as they wouldn’t want to risk bringing him back too soon against an opponent and risk getting hurt again for a third straight season. But if Thomas is able to get on the field for the Giants at any point and make an impact in the secondary, then his comeback for the team was well worth it.
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New York Giants CB Terrell Thomas Feeling More Confident; Puts Knee to Test Vs. Victor Cruz
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