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New York Giants’ Terrell Thomas a Serious 2013 Comeback Player of the Year Candidate

January 8th, 2014 at 10:00 AM
By Dan Benton

To be a Comeback Player of the Year candidate has to be a bit bittersweet for an NFL athlete. On one hand, it means you've rebounded greatly from a season lost either due to injury or incredible struggle. On the other hand, it also means you've missed significant time and were essentially written off.

In the case of New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas, who came back from a third ACL repair and microfracture surgery, his return has been hard to miss.

"It’s been a struggle, it’s been a grind but the one thing I’ve always counted on is just my faith and just being blessed to play this game again. No matter how hard it got, I just said, ‘You know what, you could be at home playing Xbox, miserable like I’ve been the last two years.’ This year has been fun. It (stink) that we couldn’t get to the playoffs. For me, I’m just happy to play football again," Thomas told The Star-Ledger in late December.

Three ACL tears. Microfracture surgery. And no spot on the 53-man roster was guaranteed.

Those were the long odds facing Thomas as he entered the 2013 season, but the veteran never blinked. As he had done with all the uncertainly leading up to the season, T2 just powered through on his faith and determination. And with each practice, he got stronger. With each game, he got better. And before we knew it, Week 17 had arrived and Thomas not only hung on and made it through, he persevered and, quite possibly, saved his NFL career.

Now that it's all over with, Thomas is rightfully getting the attention he deserves. And after playing in all 16 games, collecting 67 tackles, one sack and one interception, Thomas is listed amongst several potential candidates for the NFL's 2013 Comeback Player of the Year Award.

"After three ACL surgeries in as many seasons, it looked like Thomas' career was over. He wound up being a key part of the team's secondary, playing all 16 games. (With seven starts.)," Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com wrote.

While it was actually only two ACL surgeries in as many years, when you add in the microfracture surgery that no one knew about until the season was over, it is a rather remarkable story. And in addition to joining Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis as the only NFL players in history to return from three ACL repairs, Thomas has now become the only player in NFL history to come back from three ACL repairs and a microfracture surgery.

In addition to T2, other potential candidates include Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson, Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews and Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno.

Although most, if not all of those players are deserving of consideration, none have faced or returned from taller odds than did Terrell Thomas. If there was ever a clear-cut candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, it is most certainly him.

Photo credit: Marianne O'Leary / Foter.com / CC BY

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Tags: Adrian Peterson, Alex Smith, Darrelle Revis, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Philip Rivers, Terrell Thomas, Thomas Davis

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4 Responses to “New York Giants’ Terrell Thomas a Serious 2013 Comeback Player of the Year Candidate”

  1.  JimStoll says:

    what about Beason?
    achilles in 2011
    knee in 2012
    lost his job to Chase
    came to us and was a beast

    TT is a great story but his play was not nearly as dynamic as Beason’s

  2.  rlhjr says:

    I love TT. I just hope they find a role he can excel at besides inspirational.
    Is it out of the realm of possibility that he can regain quickness and speed?
    If anyone can, I think this guy could. But we already had a “feel good” guy in Herzlich. We need feel good guys who can actually handle business.

    REPOST:

    Finally someone on the Giants staff albeit if formally owns up to the fact that this offensive line has been a crap pile for going on five years now.

    They were able to get the job done with the help of Eli, Bradshaw, Jacobs Nicks Cruz and THE GIANT DEFENSE I.E the front four. But the hand writing has been on the wall for five years. And the organization ignored it because it was the cost effective way to go.

    I am taking the same approach with Nicks that I did with Cruz!
    If he signs fine, if he doesn’t go get a big kid who can catch and run.

    And when you think about it, the same approach should be taken with offensive line and linebacker. The holes are gaping and easy to see. And if I can see it I’m pretty sure those who receive large coin to see those things are aware too.

    I still chuckle at the big revelation when a decent MIKE (Beason) was added to this defense. I guess some folks will undergo life changing epiphany when/if the organization actually adds a “real” SAM backer to the unit. Either through a no less than third round draft pick or a young veteran free agent.

    “OMG our defense is so good now….what happened?” P-L-E-A-S-E.

    As Kujo is fond of saying, “repeat after me”;

    MOVE PUGH TO CENTER, DRAFT A PURE GUARD, DRAFT A SWING OG/OT TYPE THEN BRING IN A FA ROT. THEN LET THEM PLAY TOGETHER FOR THE NEXT 7 TO TEN YEARS. PERHAPS THEN ELI CAN ACTUALLY STEP UP IN THE POCKET VICE BACKING UP AND THROWING OF HIS RIGHT FOOT.

    If by some chance someone in the organization thinks the Baas is something more than a injury waiting to happen, then move Pugh to guard. But the kid is a center who is gifted enough to play virtually any OL position. So it would be hard for the Giant brain trust to fck that up no matter where they put him.
    From the center position Pugh can get to the second level of the defense and be a difference maker. Bass/Boothe can at best achieve stalemates. But they mostly either wiff or collapse. Pick YOUR poison.

    The remainder of this years and next years draft picks can be used to find general depth, a corner, running back and hybrid TE/WR and maybe, just maybe a SAM.
    Are there better ways to get the team ready to compete? I sure as hell hope so.
    Because I fully realize my opinion is NOT the end all be all. However, I’ve played and watched a fain amount of football over the years. More watch than play.
    I’m far from a prize winning GM. But I’m not blind. And neither are the majority of you.

    •  Krow says:

      Both Baas and $nee cannot last more than a few games. They’ll be hurt … inactive … or IR’d. Baas I believe still wants to play. But $nee is just looting. He knows he’s done, and is just trying to collect as many paychecks as possible before he runs out of suckers.

      The hard fact is that we have only one starting OLman who can reliably be expected to last an entire season. One !!!

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