As Week 1 of the NFL season quickly approaches questions remain whether edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux will be on the field in Tennessee when the Giants play the Titans.
Thibodeaux had been injured during the second week of the preseason when New York hosted the Cincinnati Bengals at Metlife Stadium. He suffered a sprained MCL when he got cut blocked and was expected to miss 3-4 weeks, but he was doing some stationary individual drills on Tuesday.
“Pretty good, pretty good,” Thibodeaux said when asked how he was feeling. “Just rehabbing. It’s day-to-day right now, so I’m just working to get better and back in shape.”
He later added: I’m doing a lot better, continuous rehab and we just continue to push forward.”
The Giants’ edge rusher wasn’t sure if he would be able to play on Sunday, telling reporters that it was still up in the air. Thibodeaux was listed as a starter on the team’s unofficial depth chart for Week 1, but Wednesday would likely provide a better idea of whether he would play.
Thibodeaux’s only marker for being ready to play was being able to practice, which he had begun to do on Tuesday in a limited capacity. Fellow linebacker Azeez Ojulari, who is also injured, joined the rookie in individual work.
Sunday’s game against the Titans will help set the tone for the season and with both edge rushers out at the moment, there is some pressure being felt for Thibodeaux to get back on the field quickly.
“I feel like we’re both pressed to get back because we both love the sport and want to get back,” he said. “But this is the NFL and we have a room full of guys that can get the job done. We have a room full of guys that are actually superstars, so just supporting them and getting back and doing everything we can to get better.”
If the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft isn’t able to play he would try to find any way he could to help the team while sidelined.
“Now you gotta accept however we go,” Thibodeaux responded when asked how it would feel not to play. “We’re a team and (head coach Brian Daboll) is a person that kind harps on next play, next man up. Just kind of giving any way I can. Realizing that if I am not able to play, if I’m there, then I still have to be engaged and help my team. Contribute to the win.”
Thibodeaux had a very strong showing during training camp and in the preseason for the Giants. The rookie felt that he was able to get what he needed out of the time he had in camp, but said that he is always working to get better.