EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- An offseason without daily rehab.
For Terrell Thomas, that's a much-welcomed return to normalcy.
"This will be a normal offseason. Rest and get healthy and get my speed back, get my hips back, get my quads back," Thomas said. "All those things -- backpedaling -- all these things I couldn't do last year. My main focus was getting my leg ready to play football."
While Thomas is not looking forward to the offseason beginning early due to the Giants not qualifying for the playoffs, the cornerback is excited to not have to endure the rigorous demands of rehabbing a torn ACL. Thomas has rehabbed a torn ACL each of the past two offseasons.
"My main focus was rehabbing and making sure my quad was strong enough to endure training camp," Thomas said. "Did a good job with that and now it's time to get back to getting ready to play football and being a starter and being able to contribute and getting back to my old ways."
Thomas is two games away from playing in every game this season, an incredible feat considering the three times he's torn his ACL. He tore it the first time in college, and then in the preseasons of both 2011 and 2012. Prior to this year, Thomas had last played a regular season game in 2010.
The 28-year-old cornerback has had a solid season, registering 62 combined tackles and one interception The Giants have primarily used him as their nickel corner. He's one of just two players in NFL history to play with three ACL tears, joining Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis.
"I did pretty well. It's been a struggle, it's been a grind, but the one thing I've always counted on was my faith and just being blessed to play this football game," Thomas said. "No matter how hard it got I said you know what, you could be at home, playing XBOX or miserable like I've been the last few years.
"This year has been fun. It sucks that we couldn't get to the playoffs and we had a losing record. For me, I'm just happy to play football again."
Thomas said his knee can get better as he's further removed from the operation, and it should be even stronger next season. He said he had to battle his quad this year as he was rehabbing, working out and figuring out ways to not overcompensate. Freed from the injury, he can refine his technique, including working on backpedaling, an essential technique that corners have to be able to master.
The cornerback will be a free agent after the season, and the Giants could bring him back once again.
"I'm looking forward to the offseason to rest and being able to catch up and not have to rehab," Thomas said. "I can actually get ahead and able to work on football stuff and not just trying to get healthy enough to play football again."