The best unit on the Giants looks like it’s about to get better.
Darian Thompson moved smoothly during the first practice at Giants training camp and said he felt like there were no limitations on his surgically repaired right foot. This would clear the way for the ball-hawking free safety to rejoin the starting defensive lineup he cracked in 2016 as a rookie, but was forced from because of the injury.
“Moving around? I feel good,” he said. “[Today’s] been something on my mind, something I’ve been working towards and I’m glad to be here.”
Thompson, a third-round pick out of Boise State a year ago, shot up the depth chart to become the starting free safety. Though he lacked experience, the Giants saw him as an excellent complement to dynamic strong safety Landon Collins, who could be on attack while Thompson could be the backstop with his range and nose for making the interception.
It lasted all of two games. Thompson, 23, had to leave the Week 2 win over the Saints and, after an attempt to return in Week 11 failed, he had surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury. He was on the field for just 82 snaps and made seven tackles, but the Giants kept his development on track by having him in all the meetings. As a result, he returns this season somewhat experienced.
“Last year I was kind of going in there and thinking a whole lot about what’s going on and trying to figure things out,” Thompson said. “This year the playbook is coming along a lot easier, so that makes things a bit more comfortable.”
When the defensive units performed drills Friday, Thompson lined up with the rest of the starters: Collins and cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple. It’s likely, but not a lock, he will stay with them and slot corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Andrew Adams, who played solidly in Thompson’s place after the injury last season, is his primary competition.
Asked about lining up with the starters, Thompson said, “It’s just the first day…