Game notes for NFL teams usually have a section in which they point out the various connections between the two teams. Guys who played together in college, coached together a lifetime ago, or grew up in the same hometown. And there will be plenty of those when the Giants face the Panthers on Sunday.
But Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas and Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis have a connection that runs deeper than any others.
They are the only two players known to return to the NFL after a third ACL reconstruction. David came back last season. Thomas is in his first season back on the field after missing two years of action.
“It’s going to be a great feeling,” Thomas said. “Thomas is a good friend of mine. We’ve talked about the whole process. It’s the first thing he said, ‘Man, let’s be the first two to ever do it.’ That really pushed me and motivated me. I kind of wanted to change a little bit, not wearing a brace and showing kids that you can overcome any type of injury and still retain all of your God-given talent if you just have the right mindset and the faith in the right person.”
Thomas was supported by Davis throughout his rehabilitation and the two speak to each other regularly.
“(Davis helped by) knowing exactly what I was going through, emotionally, financially, physically, everything,” Thomas said. “He knew exactly what I was going through. My mom didn’t understand. Nobody did. But he did. Anything he said I held on to.”