When the New York Giants open training camp later this month, they need as many of their key players on the field as possible. That includes starting left tackle Andrew Thomas, who underwent offseason ankle surgery in January.
During an appearance on the Giants Huddle podcast this week, Thomas provided an update on his surgically repaired ankle and said he’ll be “ready” for training camp.
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“Rehab is coming along pretty well. I’m doing everything the trainers ask me to do,” Thomas said, per Giants.com. “Definitely moving a lot better and I’m prepared to be ready for training camp.
“It’s definitely frustrating, but it’s part of the business, learning how to navigate being injured because you’re never going to feel 100 percent. But I felt like last year I started to make some strides. It’s a little more frustrating sometimes when you can’t be on the field with your teammates.”
Here’s a look at Thomas working out last month, via Talkin’ Giants on Twitter.
Thomas, a Georgia product who went fourth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, has started every game of his NFL career except for one. He did not miss any games during his rookie season, but last year he was sidelined for four contests.
Giants beat reporter Dan Duggan of The Athletic recently shared his thoughts on every member of the offense, and his musings on Thomas centered around his health. Duggan mentioned some reports of Thomas limping during early offseason workouts and noted that this isn’t the first time he’s undergone offseason ankle surgery.
Here’s what Duggan wrote about Thomas:
There were reports of Thomas hobbling during the spring as he recovers from his second left ankle surgery in two years. I can’t say I noticed that, and I actually found it encouraging that Thomas was at least participating in individual periods considering the overly cautious approach the new regime had with injured players this spring. It’s concerning that Thomas has needed surgery on his ankle after each of his first two seasons, but the hope is the latest operation will fix the lingering problem.
Thomas is 6-foot-5 and 315 lbs., so those ankles are under a lot of pressure. The Giants are counting on his body to hold up in pass protection for quarterback Daniel Jones and in run blocking for running back Saquon Barkley, both of whom are facing make-or-break seasons in New York.
Andrew Thomas Credits ‘Consistency’ For 2021 Breakout
As a rookie, Andrew Thomas struggled to hold down the left side of the line. Last year, however, he took a major step forward and looked like a legitimate franchise left tackle.
During his recent appearance on the Giants Huddle podcast, Thomas detailed the factors that led to his breakout.
“I think it was one, consistency, and then just understanding the position a little more as far as understanding what rushers are looking at, if that makes sense,” Thomas said, per Giants.com. “Like if they’re timing rushers, are they reactive rushers, things like that. Understanding how leverage works as far as hand placement and depending on who you’re going up against…
“If you put something on film that’s not good, it’s going to come up again if you don’t fix it. That’s one thing I learned really quickly. If you don’t fix something, they’re going to take advantage of it. Then the next thing is just how much of a chess game it is. A lot of times, we look at measurable like how fast or how strong someone is. But when you really get down to it, it’s the technique that makes the biggest difference I think.”
In a special piece for ESPN, the staff of Football Outsiders recently named Thomas as the Giants’ most underrated player.
Giants Need Their (Not So) Secret Weapon Healthy
Another reason why the Giants need Thomas healthy is because he’s their secret weapon in the red zone. Well, not so secret anymore. Thomas caught a two-point conversion against the Dallas Cowboys during his rookie season, then caught a touchdown pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.
Thomas had more touchdown catches than wide receivers Kenny Golladay (zero) and Kadarius Toney (zero) had combined last season.