It's been nearly three years since anyone has seen Terrell Thomas step foot onto the field in a New York Giants uniform, yet he is not lacking any confidence this summer as he prepares to play for the first time since tearing his ACL in consecutive seasons.
Last week, Thomas returned to action for the Giants and participated in the team's OTA's, although it was in a limited capacity. It's not definite what the Giants will let him do when training camp kicks off in late July, but Thomas is feeling very confident in his ability to still be a cornerback on the team, as he told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York.
"I am able to do everything," Thomas said. "It is more about getting comfortable and trusting myself without hesitating, without thinking and just reacting, and I am almost there. Physically I haven't swelled up in the last four months."
After tearing his ACL in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears back in August of 2011, Thomas re-signed with the Giants to a four-year, $28 million deal in March of 2012, but he again tore the ACL last summer, which put him on the injured reserve for a second consecutive season. Thomas said the journey back has been a rough one, but is looking to prove a lot of doubters wrong.
"I can be realistic with myself knowing that I had two ACLs in one year and it is a long journey," he added. "But I'll be back and I'm going to shock a lot of people."
Before the ACL injuries, Thomas was considered the team's best overall cornerback and a player who had Pro Bowl potential. Last week, Thomas did say he is expecting to play the 2013 season at cornerback, but on Wednesday at the Giants mini-camp, he did change his tune and said he'll play wherever they want him to.
"I'm whatever they need me to be," Thomas said. "At this point in my career, it is all about getting healthy and contributing in any way. If that's a leadership role, a safety role, nickel, corner, kickoff, I will do whatever I need to do."
The former second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of USC was rumored to be cut by the team in March because of his contract, but Thomas restructured his deal to a more team-friendly one-year deal so that he could stay on and attempt a comeback in the NFL.
In 44 career games, Thomas has 11 interceptions, 38 pass deflections and six forced fumbles with 218 total tackles. He will be looking to be just the second player in NFL history to recover from three career ACL injuries; Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was able to successfully come back and play in the NFL after three ACL surgeries.
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