Same foot, new injury — and a growing concern for Andrew Thomas.
The Giants listed Thomas as questionable with a left foot injury for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, which raises the possibility right tackle Nate Solder will fill Thomas’ shoes on the left side and Matt Peart will start on the right side. Safety Jabrill Peppers and wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton all were ruled out with hamstring injuries.
The Giants won without Slayton and Shepard last week, but losing Thomas — who has allowed one quarterback hit and no sacks on 185 pass-blocking snaps in a breakthrough year — would be a different story. So, how is he feeling after limping around the practice field for three days?
“Sore,” Thomas said. “Right now I’m focusing on every day doing what the trainers ask of me.”
Thomas was a limited participant Thursday and Friday after sitting out Wednesday’s walk-through. He was injured against the Saints, though it is unrelated to his left ankle surgery during the offseason.
“I was in the rotation [both days] with Nate and Matt,” Thomas said. “We’ll see how it feels on Sunday.”
Head coach Joe Judge promptly stopped using in-game rotations over the last three weeks as injuries to Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates and Ben Bredeson shredded depth. The offensive line played its best game in two seasons last week.
If Peart is needed, it will be his first offensive action since 19 snaps in Week 1. Peart lost the starting right tackle job to Solder in training camp, tried his hand at guard last month and now could face the biggest challenge of his two-year career against a defensive line leading the NFL in pressures created off complex stunts.
“It’s having a mentality of always staying ready,” Peart said. “You never know when your number is going to get called in this game. We get after it in practice to make sure.”
Solder is coming off his best game of the season, but allowed 20 sacks in two seasons (2018-19) as the Giants’ left tackle before opting out last season. He has allowed two sacks in four games at right tackle.
“I’m always of the impression that this is a competitive sport and the best five play,” Solder said. “What my role is, is whatever I make it. If a guy needs a little bit more something here or there then we can do that, but I’m just here to be whatever support I can be.”
The Cowboys listed WR Amari Cooper (hamstring) and RB Ezekiel Elliott (knee) as questionable, but both are expected to play. DE Dorance Armstrong and S Donovan Wilson are out.
Judge explained that part of his normal Friday routine is to look ahead at the next weekend’s opponent so he knows what to incorporate in the next few practices. In this case, he will peek at the Rams before facing the Cowboys.
“I make sure anytime I look ahead to the next opponent, I end the day going back to the opponent we’re on,” Judge said, “so you get your mind back in that thinking.”