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Notebook: Andrew Thomas 'game-time decision'


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Andrew Thomas was again limited in practice and is listed as questionable for the Giants' game Sunday, but the team's All-Pro left tackle is hopeful his injured left hamstring will heal enough for him to play against the Arizona Cardinals in State Farm Stadium.

"It would probably be a game-time decision," Thomas said after practice. "Right now, just taking every day just to see how it feels, but it's been feeling better."

Thomas was injured in the Giants' season-opening loss to Dallas last week, on the play the Cowboys blocked a Graham Gano field goal attempt and scored a touchdown. He stayed in the game until the second half when he was replaced by Matt Peart and then Joshua Ezeudu.

"It definitely feels better than when I first hurt it," Thomas said.

This week, Thomas did not practice Wednesday, but ramped it up a bit each of the last two days.

"I only did individual yesterday, so I don't think that's a true test, but today I did a little bit of the period, and it actually wasn't bad today.

"Just preparing mentally that I'm going to play. Obviously, I don't know until game time, but my mindset is to prepare like I'm playing, do all the recovery. I can just make sure I'm getting good sleep, doing the extra stuff the trainers are asking me to do and we'll see."

Coach Brian Daboll spoke to the media before practice and emphasized that decisions about game availability would be made afterward.

"I talk to him (Thomas) every day," Daboll said. "So today, he said he feels a little bit better. We'll do a little bit more with him today. And then again, I think it's really unfair to give you an answer right now, because they've got to go out there and move around and do things. That's why we do it after practice today.

"I have discussions anytime a player is injured. Obviously, I refer to the medical staff. I trust those guys implicitly, but I also want to talk to the player to see where they're at, their head's at, and you want to do the player right. So, if he's ready to play, he'll play. And if he's not, he won't. You appreciate the players that are banged up in some form or fashion that are working through things and wanting to go out there and practice and do things. It's a conversation I have with (senior vice president of medical services) Ronnie (Barnes) and his staff, obviously, with Andrew and then ultimately how we go out there and practice and what he feels he can do or not do. Again, it's a little bit more than it was yesterday. So, give it all the way up to the time we can give it to."

Another consideration is the Giants play two games in five days, including Thursday night in San Francisco.

If Thomas doesn't play, Peart or Ezeudu -- or both -- will presumably replace him.

"We prepare for a lot of different scenarios. Week in week out, we prepare for a lot of things," offensive line coach Bobby Johnson said. "We prepare for a lot of personnel issues that may arise. You've got to be prepared. You can't wait till they happen. I have a lot of confidence in a lot of things that we work on, and the only way you're going to find out if the guy is ready is if he has to do it. So, if (Ezeudu) is called upon, I'm confident that he'll be able to step up."

The line has received much scrutiny this week after its performance against Dallas. Quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked seven times, absorbed 12 hits and was forced to scramble as he led the team with 13 rushing attempts.

As they do periodically throughout the season, the Giants assistant coaches spoke to the media today, first the offensive and then the defensive coaches. As expected, Johnson drew the largest crowd of reporters.

"I saw a lot of issues as a group," he said. "Each guy's got things that, like I said, I've addressed him as their coach. They've addressed them. A lot of times they tell me what they see, and they've addressed them, they've acknowledged them like professionals. So, we're addressing them in practice. We're moving on to the issues that are presented by the Cardinals and that's where we're at."

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 2 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

*The only other players on the injury report other than Thomas are linebacker Azeez Ojulari (hamstring) and wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (knee), both of whom are listed as doubtful.

*The Giants will play seven of their next 10 games on the road. After an unexpected result last week and a 49ers team that has been to the last two NFC championship games looming four days after the Cardinals, Daboll was asked if he feels more pressure to win this week.

"I think every week is the same for me," he said. "You've got to go out there, do the things you need to do during the week to try to put the best possible performance you can on the field. That's the National Football League, that's an every week thing. It's always competitive. There's always a lot of work that needs to be done and I think consistency in approach and how you handle things is important in a leadership role. But certainly, you're excited every week to have an opportunity to go out there and play at your best and coach at your best."

Moments later, responding to another question, Daboll said, "My philosophy is every game is important and that's not coach speak. It isn't. You only get 17 of them. You are only guaranteed 17 of them, so you learn from mistakes, you learn from good games, you learn from poor games. I've said this plenty of times before. And then you move on to the next week. You're laser focused on the things you need to do. Every game is important, so you treat them with such importance because they are."

*Some other musings from the assistant coaches:

*Defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson on Tre Hawkins, the rookie sixth-round choice who played 51 snaps and led the Giants with five solo tackles (seven total):

"Played hard, obviously made some mistakes, some things to learn from," Henderson said. "I think moving forward, hopefully those lessons will be learned once and then they will grow from it. That's what I expect, but things that have come up with him before in practice with Tre, like a little too much contact right there. Tae, after five (yards), you got to let him go. Now they've touched the stove, found out the stove is actually really hot and so hopefully they grow from it, they learn from it and we're on to other things."

*Quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney on Daniel Jones' ability to rebound after a disappointing game:

"I feel like he's really great at that," Tierney said. "He's a mentally tough kid. Since I've been here, that's been one of the top things I've noticed about him, mentally tough. That doesn't affect him. I can tell you right now, he's already moved on. It's Friday now. He's moved on for a good while now."

*Tight ends coach Andy Bischoff on how Darren Waller has dealt with his hamstring injury:

"Professional approach to everything," Bischoff said. "He knows his body more than anyone and he's worked through periods of this throughout his whole career. So, he remains positive, he's engaged, he's into the game plan and more importantly, he's into what resources are available here to help them work through the process.

"Really no limitations to what we're asking him to do. It's just a matter of how we choose to balance the load. He's willing and able and we're excited to have him out there."

View rare photos from the all-time series between the Giants and Cardinals.


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