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If Terrell Thomas Returns, New York Giants May Move Him to Safety

January 4th, 2013 at 5:27 PM
By Paul Tierney

Needless to say, it's been a rough past two seasons for New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas. After tearing his ACL against the Chicago Bears in the 2011 preseason, Thomas re-injured his knee just a few days into training camp this year and was once again placed on the season-ending injured reserve. It was Thomas' third ACL tear of his career, which is usually a bad omen for skill position players.

'Terrell Thomas warms up' photo (c) 2010, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It's hard to expect any player to return to form after multiple knee surgeries and being out of the game for two seasons. However, if Thomas does choose to return to Big Blue, a position change may be in order. General manager Jerry Reese said yesterday that he may consider moving Thomas to safety in 2013.

"We haven't had much conversation with (Terrell Thomas) as of late, but we'll definitely reach out to him and see how he is and see if he's going to be able to make another comeback," Reese said. "He may be one of those guys that at this point in his career, if he does get back on the field, you might have to move him to a different position like safety instead of playing corner. A couple of ACL's playing corner, man, that's tough to do."

Thomas may appear to be a little undersized for an NFL safety. His 6'0"/ 190 pound frame pales in comparison to the likes of Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips, who each have at least 16 pounds on Thomas; however, before his injury, Thomas led the Giants with 101 tackles in 2010. He's a great tackler in the open field and is not afraid to give up his body to support the run defense. If he shows the ability to play run defense next training camp, Thomas' ball skills may be better utilized as an over-the-top defender as opposed to a cover corner.

Although Thomas has some incredible odds to overcome in order to return to form, this season saw the first ever NFL player return from three ACL tears to have a successful season. Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers played in 15 games and recorded 103 tackles at linebacker. As long as Thomas gets the correct treatments and rehabilitation techniques, there's no reason he shouldn't be able to do that same. In fact, Reese believes that Thomas could be successful in the NFL as a safety.

"He's a smart guy and you've seen guys before they start their careers at corners and have some injuries or lose a step and teams move them inside to safety," Reese said. "So that's something we look at."

Before his injuries, Terrell Thomas showed the potential to develop into one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. It's hard to expect that from him now, because he has gone through more adversity in the last two seasons than most players do in their entire careers. Hopefully, the Giants are afforded the opportunity to bring him into training camp next season and see what he still has left in the tank. If it's anything close to the player we saw in 2010, he'll be a welcome addition to a secondary that sorely disappointed this year.

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Tags: Carolina, Carolina Panthers, Chicago, Chicago Bears, Football, Jerry Reese, Kenny Phillips, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Terrell Thomas