EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux isn’t going to change his sack celebrations after taking criticism for doing snow angels next to injured Colts quarterback Nick Foles this past weekend.
Indianapolis Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday called the celebration “trash” given that Foles was in pain after sustaining a rib injury that forced him to leave the game.
Thibodeaux said after the game, a 38-10 win that got New York its first playoff berth since 2016, he didn’t know Foles was hurt. He stopped his celebration when he realized it.
Saturday ripped him Monday.
Thibodeaux said Wednesday he didn’t know who Saturday was and didn’t care.
“You don’t play the game for anyone to get injured,” the No. 5 overall pick in the draft said. “But I play defense. They brought me here to be a savage and to take over the game and impact the game. We preach impacting the game is affecting the quarterback. That is what I’m here to do.”
Thibodeaux has picked up his game in recent week and his four sacks are third on the Giants. His biggest play of the season was a game-changing strip-sack of Washington quarterback Taylor Heinecke that he recovered for a touchdown in a crucial 20-12 win over the Commanders on Dec. 18.
“I play this game to be successful, and the only way I’m successful is if I take down quarterbacks,” Thibodeaux said. “So that is what I get paid to do. That is what I did. And the celebrations are legal in football. I celebrated, and God willing he (Foles) continues to get better and recover.”
Top cornerback Adoree Jackson may see action for the first time in more than two months when playoff-bound New York closes out its regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jackson covered the opponent’s top receiver all season before he injured a knee on a punt return against Detroit on Oct. 20. He has missed six games.
The Giants (9-6-1) are locked into the No. 6 seed in the NFC and will play a wild-card game the following weekend at either Minnesota or San Francisco.
Giants coach Brian Daboll has refused to say whether he will rest some of his starters. The game means little for his team and a lot to the Eagles (13-3), who can lock up the No. 1 seed in the conference with a win, a tie or a Dallas loss.
Jackson probably would benefit from playing Sunday. It would allow him to test the knee and give the coaches an idea of how much he can do.
“I think the the main important thing is going throughout this week and getting myself prepared and doing all the things that I need to do,” Jackson said.
The 27-year-old Jackson said while playing might help him, he also has six years of experience to fall back on if he cannot play Sunday.
Four Giants did not practice Wednesday. Defensive lineman Leonard Williams (neck), center Jon Feliciano (back), LB Azeez Ojulari (ankle) sat out with injuries. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was given the day off.
DABOLL TALKS ABOUT HAMLIN
Daboll spoke to his team Wednesday about the cardiac arrest Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. The team’s head trainer, medical staff, psychologist and chaplain also spoke.
“I think you’re always concerned about your guys,” said Daboll, who spent four years as the Bills’ offensive coordinator before becoming the Giants’ coach. “And then when something like this happens, you’re always concerned about them.”
Daboll wore a blue Giants cap at practice with No. 3 on the front, a tribute to Hamlin, who joined the Bills last season.
LOVE WINS YOUNG-ACCORSI AWARD
Julian Love was chosen as the winner of the 22nd annual George Young-Ernie Accorsi Media Good Guy Award by the New York Giants Chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America.
The award is named for the two former New York general managers. It’s given to a Giants player for his consistent and outstanding cooperation with the writers who cover the team.