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Giants’ Wink Martindale: Kayvon Thibodeaux did not know Nick Foles was hurt

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Giants Kayvon Thibodeaux wins DPOW
New York Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux celebrates a sack during overtime of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.Y. — Giants defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale defended Kayvon Thibodeaux on Thursday, echoing what the rookie edge rusher said that he didn’t know Nick Foles was down we he did snow angels to celebrate a big sack in last weekend’s wino over the Colts.

Thibodeaux has faced some criticism for the manner in which he celebrated after the hard tackle late in the first half. Colts head coach Jeff Saturday had called the celebration “tasteless and trash.” 

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“The company line is we’re moving on to Philly. But I’ll tell you this, he did not know that quarterback was hurt,” Martindale said. “I mean this guy, he’s a good guy and he did not know he was hurt. That’s a dangerous play when there’s too few runners coming off the edge of the backside of the quarterback. But he did not know that Nick Foles was hurt and he wouldn’t have done that if he did know that.”

The Giants’ defensive coordinator acknowledged that the optics didn’t look great, but Martindale said that it didn’t look bad to him because he know the person that Thibodeaux is.

“To me, it doesn’t look as bad as what everybody’s trying to blow this thing up as because I know he did not know he was hurt,” Martindale continued. “I know the guy. I know the person. I know his heart. I get a little protective with that. I know I do by sounding that way. That’s just how I feel.”

The play occurred on Sunday in the second quarter when Thibodeaux blitzed Foles and took him down hard. In celebration, the rookie did snow angels right next to Foles and he was down on the ground injured and later caught on Camera doing the Steph Curry “put ’em to sleep” celebration. 

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Thibodeaux said after the game and then again on Wednesday that he did not know Foles was hurt. And he wasn’t fazed by the criticism from Inndianapolis’ interim head coach. 

“People can say anything about anything, so like, I’m not really too worried about what people say,”  Thibodeaux said on Wednesday. “I know the intent. I play his game to be successful and the only way I’m successful is if I take down quarterbacks. That’s what I get paid to do. That’s what I did and celebrations are legal in football. I celebrate it and God willing (Foles) continues to get better and continues to recover.”

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