Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Plan B: Thomas contingency options
By Ohm Youngmisuk
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Terrell Thomas is heading west to consult with Dr. Arthur Ting on his injured right ACL.
Ting performed an allograft reconstruction of the ACL last September and Thomas likely will undergo an arthroscopic procedure to determine the full damage to his knee.
A source said Monday that Thomas' knee has at least a partial tear. Considering this is the third time he has injured his right ACL since 2005, Thomas could miss significant time, if not the entire season. We'll still have to wait for final word.
While we wait, let's take a look at what the Giants might do if Thomas is out indefinitely or for the season.
THE REPLACEMENTS: GM Jerry Reese knew there was a risk with Thomas' knee. That is why Thomas only got $1 million guaranteed in a signing bonus when he re-signed this offseason, and why the Giants have a $6 million option on Thomas next March. It is also why he brought so many cornerbacks into camp. Here's a look at some of the guys who could start opposite Corey Webster:
Prince Amukamara: Reese says his expectation is for Amukamara to play like the 19th overall pick of the 2011 draft. And if Prince does that, he'll be the starter if Thomas is out for the season. It may take some time, though, for Amukamara to win the job. The lockout last year cost him his first offseason of vital classroom time with coaches. He missed pretty much all of camp and most of his rookie season due to a foot injury. So this is his first true year of NFL training and coaching. He has flashed some of his skills so far with an interception and some tight coverage the past couple of days in camp. Prince is the guy the Giants would like to become the starter, but they won't rush him into that spot.
Michael Coe: The veteran cornerback is attempting a comeback from a season-ending shoulder injury suffered last year. He has pretty much been the guy starting at corner when Thomas wasn't on the field in practice during OTAs, minicamp and training camp. Coe is a solid veteran presence and he might be the front-runner for the job until Prince emerges.
Justin Tryon: Tryon is scrappy and quick, works hard and the Giants like him. He is coming off a season-ending broken arm suffered last year. He and Coe have impressed in OTAs and minicamp and he definitely is in the mix to replace Thomas as the starter and could be right there on the depth chart with Coe. Tryon is a good special teams player as well.
Bruce Johnson: Johnson was off to a great start at camp last year before he ruptured his Achilles tendon. He is back and has been working with the second-team defense. He is solid and the Giants have always liked him.
Jayron Hosley: The Giants drafted Hosley in the third round this year and Reese likened him to Pacman Jones on the field, as far as how he plays bigger and stronger than his 5-10 frame. Hosley might need more time to get acclimated to the defense and pro game, but he has flashed speed during camp. He also could be a special teams factor eventually. He suffered a laceration to his knee, though, on Monday and required stitches.
POTENTIAL MOVE: If Thomas is out for the year and the Giants place him on IR, they could always bring back veteran safety Deon Grant. Grant isn't a cornerback, but he was a pivotal piece in Perry Fewell's defense. He would allow the Giants to play their three-safety look again and perhaps use Antrel Rolle on slot receivers again if there isn't a cornerback to emerge that they trust against slot receivers.
Last year, when Thomas and so many other corners were lost for the season, the Giants went with three safeties and Grant would provide them with one more guy to help the coverage team. Grant's knowledge of the defense is excellent and he was one of the most respected leaders in the locker room.
The Giants also could wait to see what else becomes available later in camp and if any cornerbacks are released by other teams. If they don't bring Grant back, they could use Thomas' roster spot to keep another safety like Stevie Brown or Will Hill if Thomas is out for the season.
In the meantime, we'll wait to see the final word with Thomas. Fewell has said in the past that the team had a Plan B in place in case Thomas wasn't ready to come back.
Tell us who you want to replace Thomas if he is out indefinitely below.