This past week, the New York Giants got some of their injured players back off the sidelines and into practice; one of which is the returning Terrell Thomas, who hasn't seen an NFL field since the preseason of the 2011 season, which is when he tore his ACL the first time with the team.
Despite the injury, the Giants still re-signed Thomas to a four-year, $28 million deal after they won Super Bowl XLVI. But in the summer, Thomas re-tore his ACL for the second time in two years and was forced to miss all of last year after needing a second surgery to repair it. The Giants restructured Thomas' deal to a one-year agreement so they didn't have to cut him, while allowing Thomas to make a comeback with the team.
Thus far, Thomas' hard work is paying off, as he has been slowly being worked into drills and into coverage at cornerback against wide receivers; which he has been able to hold his own in. Before the injuries to the knee, Thomas was regarded at the time as the team's best cover corner and on the verge of becoming a Pro Bowl caliber corner in the NFL. Injuries have derailed that plan, but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was impressed with what he saw from Thomas on the field.
"Yesterday, he received about 50 percent of the reps that we were wanting to give him. I thought he responded extremely well. There were two situations he was in man coverage and he did an outstanding job, in my opinion. He showed burst. He showed the ability to come out of a break when he was covering in man coverage."
Some players in the league can have difficulty recovering from one ACL surgery, let alone two. Thomas has torn his ACL three times in his football career; twice with the Giants and once when he was in college at USC. The only other player to ever successfully come back in the NFL from three successful ACL surgeries was Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who tore his ACL three times in three consecutive years, yet returned in 2012 to successfully play, and Thomas will look to be only the second player in the NFL to accomplish that goal.
Fewell said on Tuesday that he's really glad to have Thomas back on the field and competing on the team's depth chart for playing time, but they're also taking it one day at a time with his knee.
"So we’re going to take it day by day with him. We’re going to bring him along as the trainers and as Terrell speaks to us about how he feels on a daily basis, but it was exciting to see him back in action."
The Giants have yet to officially announce if they will have Thomas play in their second preseason game at MetLife Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday or hold him out for a second straight game in the summer, as they held Thomas out against the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Saturday. Thomas initial ACL injury with the team was in a Giants preseason game against the Chicago Bears back in August of 2011.
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