Giants’ star left tackle officially a ‘game-time decision’ ahead of Week 2

New York Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal (73) and New York Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (78) exit the field after defeating the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants find themselves in a tight spot as they approach their Week 2 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Star left tackle Andrew Thomas’s health hangs in the balance, posing a dilemma for the team. As crucial as his presence is, compromising his long-term fitness could spell trouble. The question remains: Should they opt for resting him until their Week 3 showdown against the San Francisco 49ers?

How It Happened: The Week 1 Incident

In a Week 1 face-off against the Dallas Cowboys, Thomas sustained a hamstring injury while chasing down a ball carrier following a blocked field goal attempt. Exiting the field under his own power, his injury already dealt a significant blow to the Giants, particularly after they had just extended his contract with a lucrative deal.

The Latest on Thomas: A Game-Time Decision for the Giants

Thomas has taken it easy throughout the week. While he reports that his hamstring is showing signs of improvement, his availability for Sunday afternoon remains uncertain. In his words, it’s a “game-time decision.”

“It’s progressed pretty fast, I think, from where it was after the game. I didn’t feel too bad moving around,” Thomas told The Post. “It’s a long season and you don’t want to stress something and it lingers. With a hamstring, it’s just the ability to be able to run off the ball, so if it feels good when I’m moving around, then I’ll go.”

Thomas’s Recent Stellar Performance: A Career to Preserve

The left tackle had an exceptional 2022 season, conceding only 23 pressures over a whopping 1,173 offensive snaps. With just two penalties against him, he dominated some of the NFL’s top pass rushers. However, Thomas is no stranger to injuries, often opting to play through them—adding an element of risk to the current situation.

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The Week 1 Aftermath: Lessons and Regrets

During the crushing Week 1 defeat to the Cowboys, Thomas was pulled out early. He had played 53 snaps, most of which were affected by his injury. He yielded three pressures and incurred a false start penalty on the Giants’ opening drive, contributing to a grim start to the season.

For Thomas, the loss was a squandered chance in a season that offers only 17 guaranteed games.

“We’re very eager because we didn’t take advantage of one of our 17 guaranteed opportunities,” Thomas said. “I’ve attacked the rehab. I want to contribute any time I can, but if I’m out there not at my best I’m more of a hindrance than anything.”

While the Giants still have 16 games to turn their fortunes around, the immediate concern is how to proceed with their star left tackle. The decision could have lasting ramifications for both Thomas and the team’s season.