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Thomas Davis inspires Terrell Thomas in ACL comeback

2/14/2013 11:26:36 AM
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Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is inspiring and motivating Gaints cornerback Terrell Thomas who is working on returning from a third ACL surgery on the same knee, Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

Davis text-messaged Terrell Thomas weekly during the 2012 NFL season.

"I had 16 tackles this week against Tampa Bay," Davis would write. Or, "Each week that goes by, my leg is feeling stronger and stronger."

The Giants worked out a new, one-year deal with Thomas this week, giving him the chance to make the same remarkable comeback Davis achieved last year. Davis is believed to be the first NFL player to return from three ACL surgeries, and he hopes he’s blazed a trail for Thomas, and others.

"I told him, ‘Don’t give up on your dream, believe in yourself and continue to fight,’ " Davis recalled in a phone interview this week. " ‘I’m living proof, and I’m going to do whatever I can each and every week to show you that it is possible. If you continue to work hard and believe in what you can do, then you’ll be in the same position that I was in.’ "

Davis called Thomas "immediately" after hearing that he had reinjured the ACL in his right knee, requiring a third surgery last September. Thomas’ first injury was in college at USC, and the second and third wiped out his 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Giants.

As Davis did after his third surgery, Thomas agreed to a new contract at the veterans’ minimum salary this season but with the chance to earn back some money — in Thomas’ case, $500,000 in playing-time incentives.

Davis hopes his story played a role in the Giants giving Thomas another chance, and moreover convinced players and teams that a career after three ACL surgeries is possible. He also hopes Thomas joins him as the next example.

"If you look at Thomas Davis, and the season that he had in 2012, the guy was written off. A lot of people said that I should have just retired and hung it up and my knees were bad," Davis said. "I think Terrell is going to be just fine."

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