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Thomas overcomes paralysis scare, returns to practice

Devin Thomas runs the opening kickoff against the

Devin Thomas runs the opening kickoff against the New England Patriots during the first quarter. (Nov. 6, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

The way Devin Thomas was carted off the field on Sunday, I thought there was a chance he might never walk again never mind play football. But yesterday and today Thomas was practicing with the Giants and he expects to be ready for Saturday’s game against the Jets.

“That’s just the way I’m cut,” Thomas said. “Thankfully it wasn’t nothing too serious. It’s a huge game, it’s time to play ball, so I’m back out there.”

It certainly seemed serious. After making the tackle on a squib kick to end the first half, Thomas remained on the field nearly motionless. He said he could not move his right arm, felt numbness all down his right side, and could not control the twitching in his legs.

“It was one of those, whew, this-is-bigger-than-football moments,” Thomas said today. “I thought maybe I might have broke something in my neck and I thought I was going to be paralyzed or something. I was real scared at first … It was spooky.”

The medical staff rushed to Thomas’ aid and attended to him on the field for most of halftime. They even cancelled the marching band event while they slowly, carefully removed the facemask from his helmet and slid a back board under him before lifting him onto a cart and driving him to the locker room area.

By the time all that happened, though, Thomas said he had a pretty good idea that he would be OK. He said the numbess lasted about two minutes, and as they were taking x-rays of his neck to make sure nothing was broken and his discs were as they should be, he was regaining strength in his arm. He even called his parents and his fiancé to let them know he was alright and rejoined the team on the sideline.

“I had to go through the precautionary thing,” he said of all the tests and protocols used after he told trainers it was his neck that was injured. “You say you hurt your neck and that’s what they do.”

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