Most players take the bye week to let their bodies catch up. Andrew Adams used the time to let his mind do that.
His brief career with the Giants has been such a whirlwind — being elevated from the practice squad in Week 3 and starting the past four games at safety as a rookie — that he really never had time to process it all. So when he went home to Atlanta during last week’s break, he took time to recognize how much his life has changed in just a few short weeks.
The last time he was there, he was an undrafted kid out of the University of Connecticut trying to catch on with a team. He returned as an NFL regular.
“During the bye week, you kind of step back and come to the realization that you’re living out your dream,” Adams told Newsday.
Adams said he enjoyed spending time with his family. He got to meet his nephew, who was born earlier in the season, and celebrated his 24th birthday with his parents and other relatives on Oct. 28.
Although Adams came home with a different status in pro football, he said he wasn’t treated any differently.
“Family is family. They love you no matter what,” he said. “If you keep your circle tight, you have friends who are your friends no matter what. You have to stay level-headed. Just stay grounded.”
Most people figured Adams would return from the bye and go back to the bench. The Giants anticipated the return of safeties Darian Thompson and Nat Berhe to the lineup on Sunday, marginalizing Adams’ snaps. Instead, Thompson suffered a setback to his foot injury in practice and will not play. Berhe was limited all week, dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion, and is listed as questionable for the game.
That left Adams taking first-team snaps in practice, just as he was before the break.
“Not much has changed, to be honest with you,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said of the safety position.
Adams might not be flashing much, but he certainly has not been a detriment to the defense in the way that veteran backups Craig Dahl and Brandon Meriweather were last year on the last legs of their careers.
“I think that he has done a solid job,” Spagnuolo said. “You’re talking about somebody who originally got cut at the 53, brought back on the practice squad, and he has taken full advantage of his opportunities.”
Adams also is happy with his playing progress.
“As you see more and you’re exposed to more, you can play faster and anticipate what’s going to come,” he said. “This will be my sixth game, so I’m not a rookie anymore. No more playing like a rookie.”
That’s what the bye did for Adams. It gave him a chance to reflect on the fact that he belongs here.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the game,” he said of his playing time. “I’m still taking reps in practice. Whatever I’m called to do, that’s what I’m going to do, and I’ll do it at the highest level.”