Kayvon Thibodeaux didn’t use his injured right leg to kick Thaddeus Moss while he was down.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since the block cut by Moss that ended Thibodeaux’s pre-season and left him with an MCL sprained knee on August 28. On Jan. 21, the Giants rookie pass thrower was asked if he thought the then-Bengals tight end made a dirty play — as has been hotly debated in NFL circles.
“I try not to think about the past,” Thibodeaux said, adding that he spoke with Moss afterwards. “I’m not really worried about it. We try to move on, we try to improve. Make sure you play with good technique. That’s football – 100% injury rate.
Thibodeaux participated in the individual drills in Tuesday’s practice in a limited way, backpedaling and working in the clinch with injured compatriot Azeez Ojulari. Moss, the son of Hall of Famer Randy Moss, was eliminated Monday by the Bengals.
Thibodeaux’s availability for Sunday against the Titans still seems a long way off, especially if the Giants err on the side of caution in developing a first-round pick.
“Right now it’s day to day – it could go either way. We’re just waiting to see where it’s at when the time comes,” Thibodeaux said. “I’m much better – continued rehabilitation. I just have to be able to train. If you don’t train, you don’t play.”
As Thibodeaux lay on the grass, the worst fears of a torn ACL surfaced. But he left without the help of the neighboring cart.
“I sat there, hurt for a minute, but [God] gave me the strength to get up and walk away,” Thibodeaux said. “I wasn’t going to look crazy when I left. I have to go out like a G.
Minutes after the first scare, Thibodeaux had an initial diagnosis that gave him peace of mind and he was joking with his teammates on the sidelines, making an open-mouthed shocked face that became a viral meme.
“It wasn’t really a sigh [of relief]. My knee hurt – don’t get me wrong. But things happen. Bounce back,” Thibodeaux said before explaining what he was saying to his teammates at the time. “I saw it. He saw it. Next thing I know I looked him in the eye and he cut me.”
If Thibodeaux and Ojulari are both out, the Giants will look to Oshane Ximines and Jihad Ward as starting outside linebackers.
“We are both in a rush to come back because we both love the sport,” Thibodeaux said. “But this is the NFL. We have a room full of guys who can get the job done. We support them and do whatever we can to improve.”
WR Darius Slayton has been excused from training, according to the team. The two-time team leader in receiving yards (2019-20) is listed as the seventh receiver — only third team — on the unofficial depth chart.
The first depth chart of the season listed ILB Austin Calitro (whose last start was in 2019) as a starter alongside Tae Crowder in base defense, filling the spot opened up by Blake Martinez’s surprise outing.
Ben Bredeson is listed as the starting left guard, replacing the injured Shane Lemieux.
For those two spots, head coach Brian Daboll said he had a good idea of who the starter would be, but wanted a week of competition.
WR CJ Board — who had 15 catches, three punt returns and 13 kickoff returns over the past two seasons with the Giants — has been released from the practice squad.