Three Giants players coming off season-ending surgeries gave glowing updates on their progress this offseason, although they apparently have yet to fully participate in the team’s workouts.
Safety Darian Thompson (foot), linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) and newly acquired quarterback Geno Smith (knee) all attended Tuesday night’s 24th annual Gridiron Gala in Manhattan hosted by the United Way of New York City and all said, in one form or another, that they are feeling great.
Smith even went so far as to say he is “100” percent recovered from his ACL surgery in November. Even though Ben McAdoo last week said the team would take it easy with Smith and hold him back for a while, Smith said on Tuesday that if training camp were to start now he feels he would be cleared as a full participant.
Thompson, who was slated to start at safety as a rookie, said he feels “pretty good.”
“Making progress, really good progress, and I’m excited,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what happens.”
Thompson would not put any timeframe on his return to full participation.
“We’re just taking things day by day, slowly progressing, but I’m doing everything they’ve been asking me to do with no problems and feeling good,” he said.
He added that he has come close to pushing himself to full speed during some of his drills.
“I got pretty close and it felt pretty good,” he said. “I’m just waiting for them to give me the green light to go ahead and do it. We have plenty of time. They don’t want to rush anything, so I’m just staying on track and everything has been good.”
Thomas, who suffered his season-ending injury on the final play of the first half of the 2016 season, used his time away from football to partake in a different adventure. He returned to school at the University of Miami and will earn his MBA next month.
“It’s really going to help me on the field this year,” he said of furthering his education. “For me to be able to take that time and use it for good and to be able to sharpen my skills mentally as well as physically, it just did nothing but good for me… It’s a recipe for success both on and off the field. Understanding how to achieve success both from an organization standpoint and a team standpoint really will do me justice.”
Thomas still is coming along in his physical rehab, but he said he expects to be at full speed for the start of training camp in July. He said being back with his teammates this offseason has helped him to push himself.
“It’s good to be back around the guys again,” he said. “The guys really give me a boost. Being back around the guys gives me that mental treatment every day. Just being in the locker room and around guys like Mark [Herzlich] and J.C. [Jonathan Casillas], some of the veterans who have been doing it for a while, you don’t take any of these moments for granted.”
There were some who thought the Giants may part ways with Thomas this offseason, and he still has to earn his spot on the roster in training camp. He’s excited to do it, though, because like many Giants, he has a tremendous sense of optimism for 2017.
“I think we have a really good ballclub,” he said. “Not to get over-assumptuous, but I think we have a chance to be pretty good this year.”
And he’d like to be part of that.