11 months removed from getting surgery done on his second torn ACL, Terrell Thomas has been placed on season-ending injured reserve by the New York Giants for the second season in a row.
Thomas—who signed a four-year, $28 million contract that relied heavily on incentives in the offseason—was optimistic he would be able to return this season after suffering another injury to his right ACL while covering Domenik Hixon in one-on-one drills in training camp. Unfortunately, it appears the Giants are not quite optimistic, unwilling to risk putting the 27-year-old defensive back on the field too soon.
Thomas has not played in a game for the Giants since Week 17 of the 2010 season in a win against the Washington Redskins. Thomas had career best in tackles and interceptions with 81 and five, respectively.
Now, it’s unknown whether Thomas will ever be able to play again.
His NFL career has not officially been deemed complete, but there is little promise for a guy who has suffered two torn ACL’s and another close call that landed him on the IR.
This season, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis hopes to be the first to thrive despite three torn ACL’s. His success could be a stepping stone for the evolution of how such an injury is handled and the manner in which players are able to battle through it.
For the time being, however, the cards are stacked against Thomas. He is two years out of the game with a gimped leg that few will be willing to take a chance on should the Giants let the cornerback go down the line sometime (Thomas has a $6 million option due in March). The outstanding ability he boasted as a cover corner is very likely diminished, marred by the inability to cut and turn on that right leg. Such struggles will only open him up as a target for opposing quarterbacks to home in on and devour bit by bit.
There is no questioning Thomas’ drive. His battle back from last season’s injury was a rough road that he triumphantly conquered. Unfortunately, though he was ready to play, it appears his knee was not. To expect anything better in 2013 is undeniably foolish.
It is a sad, stark reality, but you may very well have seen the last of Terrell Thomas’ playing days. He will undoubtedly strive to fight to recover, build up the strength his knee again and develop into a capable, serviceable force at cornerback once again, but the football gods aren’t always quite as pleasant the third time around.