“I’m always going to hope,” Coughlin said Wednesday. “I have enough information though to counter some of that hope, but I’ll always have hope.”
Thomas reinjured the ACL on his right knee on Sunday and is in California for further evaluation. Meanwhile, back here in Albany, the Giants returned from a day off and got back to the business of moving on without Thomas for the short term and bracing for the more-and-more likely eventuality that he’ll be lost for the season.
“I saw him, and I didn’t really have any words to tell him,” defensive captain Justin Tuck said. “Obviously he knows that we’re all praying for him, and wishing him the best.”
“He was always doing extra work maintenance on his leg,” said Prince Amukamara, who appears slated to replace Thomas as the starting cornerback. “Just to see something happen like that is kind of discouraging. The team is still with him, and he always fully supports the team in going through his rehab. It’s just a very bad situation.”
In terms of football, safeties coach Dave Merritt said the team plans to move safety Antrel Rolle to nickelback in sub packages until another cornerback can establish himself and show he can play the position.
“Just two days ago, I went up to him. I said, ‘Antrel we’re going to put you down in the slot just like your position last year,’” Merritt said. “’I’m not saying it’s going to be permanent, but we need you to get some reps there.’ He said ‘No problem coach.’ And then, of course, after the Terrell Thomas situation, I went back to him again. I said ‘O.K., Antrel, you need to think of yourself as a starter at that position.’ He said, ‘Whatever it takes.’”
The Giants won a Super Bowl like that, so even though it is not their first choice of alignments they are likely not worried about it. Moreso, they are worried about Thomas, whose season and career appear to hang on this diagnosis.
“He did a great job of masking, I am sure, his true emotions,” Coughlin said of his meeting with Thomas on Monday before he left for California. “His emotions, I am sure, are very fragile at this point in time. He did not show that with me. From what I understand, with Ronnie, he kept a stiff upper lip of whatever you call it. He didn’t let himself go there.”
More and more, though, it appears that is where Thomas is headed.