Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Thomas injury blow to Giants secondary
Rich Kane/Icon SMI
Terrell Thomas is 1 of only 4 NFL players with 5-or-more interceptions each of the last 2 seasons.
The New York Giants lost CB Terrell Thomas to a torn ACL in Monday night’s win over the Chicago Bears, possibly for the season (pending an MRI). Thomas joins rookie Prince Amukamara (broken foot, out till mid-October) on the sidelines, leaving the Giants thin at the cornerback slot. Aaron Ross is likely to be named the starter in place of Thomas. Ross has started 26 games in his NFL career, but only two of those starts have come in the last two seasons combined.
Giants fans are going to be upset to lose Thomas, but as Chris Berman might say ... “We’ve seen this before.” Over the years, the Giants have lost some notable players for the season due to a preseason injury, including Osi Umenyiora (2008, torn lateral meniscus); Jason Sehorn (1998, torn ACL) and Phil Simms (1982, torn knee ligament).
How big of a loss is Thomas to the Giants? He was one of the key reasons the Giants third-down pass defense was one of the best in the NFL in 2010. As a team, the Giants allowed just 45 passing first downs on third down, fewest in the league.
Thomas defended or intercepted nine passes on third down, tied for the most in the league and by far the most on the Giants. His overall total of 18 defended or intercepted passes tied him for second-most in the league as well.
He was equally adept at defending both short and long passes, as he also led the team in both categories. Eight of his 18 defended or intercepted passes came 15 or more yards downfield, tied for fifth-most in the league.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Thomas is one of only four NFL players who had five-or-more interceptions in each of the last two seasons, joining Asante Samuel, Brent Grimes and Aqib Talib.
Thomas is the first Giants player with consecutive seasons of five-or-more interceptions since Percy Ellsworth did it in 1998 and 1999.