Giants' Terrell Thomas tears ACL

Updated: August 23, 2011, 2:17 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Just before the end of the first half, tears were shed on the New York Giants' sideline.

Later, at halftime, prayers were said inside the locker room.

Cornerback Terrell Thomas, who is in a contract year and had aspirations of making the Pro Bowl this season, tore his right ACL in Monday night's 41-13 win over the Chicago Bears, and will likely miss the entire season. And the devastating news became too much to take for Thomas' teammates in the Giants' secondary.

"We found out before halftime, and most of us had tears in our eyes," safety Deon Grant said. "Just to see the work he put in this offseason, and seeing his confidence level and what he'd been doing during training camp, it bothered us more than regular injury."

"We had tears in our eyes for him, because we knew how humble he was with it, and how good he was looking.

"(At halftime) I prayed with him, and told him don't kill your spirit. We know your plan was to go out there and play big, but sometimes God's plan is a lot different than what our plan is, and we told him that."

Thomas suffered the injury with 22 seconds remaining in the second quarter. As he was coming in to try and sack Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Thomas was legged-whipped by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Thomas tripped over his teammate and fell to the ground.

Thomas lay prone for a few minutes before getting attention from the team's medical staff. He finally got up and limped toward the lockerroom with the help of the medical staff.

Thomas tweeted later Monday: ""Without a TEST, YOU have no TESTIMONY" GOD IS GOOD!"

Defensive end Justin Tuck said it was supposed to be Thomas' last play of the evening.

"It's devastating," Tuck said. "The timing couldn't be worse for him. Obviously, he was looking for a big pay day. My heart goes out to him. He has done everything the right way, everything the Giants and the coaches have asked him to do, he has done above average."

The 26-year-old Thomas had a team-high 101 tackles, five interceptions, four forced fumbles and a sack last season, and was primed for an even greater year in 2011. In an expanded role, Thomas was being brought in on blitzes and also covering slot receivers on third downs.

"It's a shame," quarterback Eli Manning said. "He's a great guy to go against in practice. He brings it every day. He always shows up on the game field. He makes plays all the time. It's a shame and I wish him well. And I wish him a quick recovery."

The Giants are now all-of-a-sudden extremely thin at cornerback. Rookie Prince Amukamara is currently out with a broken left foot, while reserve Bruce Johnson was lost for the year early in training camp after rupturing his Achilles.

Reserve Brian Witherspoon sprained his left knee during Monday night's game, and will have an MRI on Tuesday.

Amukamara is currently using a scooter to get around, and will be off his left foot for another two weeks. He said he feels no pain.

Aaron Ross, who had been used in nickel situations, will assume Thomas' starting right cornerback role. Corey Webster is the team's starting left corner.

"Terrell is a really, really big part of this defense," Ross said, "and losing him is a big hurt to this team. My prayers are with him, and hopefully he'll be able to come back from it.

"My teammate went down, and now's my opportunity to come in and replace him. I'm ready to get back on the field, and hopefully the coaches have confidence in me still."

Reserve Michael Coe will now have to take on an even greater role in Thomas' absence, and at least until the team can get Amukamara back and into the fold.

Thomas tore ligaments in his right knee in 2005 when he was playing for USC in a game against Arkansas. He underwent surgery and was lost for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, left tackle Will Beatty underwent X-rays on his left foot in the second quarter. They came back negative.

Beatty said he rolled his ankle as a result of his uncomfortableness with his cleats. He said won't miss any practices as a result.

"The foot feels pretty good," Beatty said. "It's just playing on this turf, I had some new shoes on. The X-rays were just precautionary."

Last season, Beatty missed seven games after breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot.

Defensive end Alex Hall left Monday night's game with a groin injury and did not return.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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