Terrell Thomas is making progress as he tries to become the first NFL defensive back to come back from three ACL surgeries to the same knee, but remains uncertain if he will play Sunday night when the New York Giants host the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium.
"We’ll see. You know, I’m still just building blocks and just trying to knock them down, taking big steps every day, trying to get better on my technique, getting my feet beneath me, keep building my confidence," Thomas said on Wednesday. "We’ve still got a lot of time before Sunday, still got the last minute, still got two more preseason games. There’s no rush in getting me out there but if I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go."
Thomas has not played in a game since tearing the ACL for the second time in his career during a 2011 preseason game against the Chicago Bears. He tried to come back last season, but slipped on the grass at UAlbany early in training camp, tearing the ACL for a third time.
"I’ve been limited in some ways, hesitant at the same time, and that’s part of the process. That’s why we’re out here in practice, to get better, to work our technique, to build confidence, that’s what I’ve been doing. Each and every day I feel myself being a lot more confident in playing. I’m not thinking," Thomas said.
"I am totally confident. I have made the cuts and I think watching it on film, seeing myself, I’m not looking down, I’m not hesitant to put my knee on the ground ... My knee’s not swollen up, it’s not hurting and that’s the biggest thing."
Thomas has been working as a slot corner this week, which means he has been lining up against Victor Cruz.
"If you didn’t know he had surgery, you couldn’t tell," Cruz said Wednesday. "He still has the same competitive edge out there. He’s still out there playing, he’s not tentative at all, and he’s out there going and getting after it and playing. It’s good to see and it’s good for all of us, good for our team as well."
Everyone connected to the Giants has to be looking forward to seeing Thomas get real game action. If he can return to some semblance of his 2010 form, when he intercepted five passes and looked to be on the verge of stardom, that would be a huge boost to the Giants.
He has to make it into, and through, a game first, however.
"We have a great plan to get ready for Week 1, and the plan is just to keep getting better every day. Wake up every day with no soreness, get through a practice, get through a week, get through two weeks, and get through a preseason game, you just keep building like that," Thomas said. "The mental aspect of the game, and I’m a veteran, that’s the easy part. It’s the physical being out there. And once I can prove that to the coaches and the medical staff and myself, I think everything else will take place."