Giants rookie safety Tyler Sash (concussion) passed the NFL’s protocol tests on Wednesday, and practiced fully on Thursday.
“I feel good,” Sash said Thursday. “I had a concussion in college [at Iowa] where I had to do protocol stuff mandated by the NCAA. All I’m worried about is playing in this next game.”
Sash suffered the concussion midway through the fourth quarter of the Giants’ 20-17 victory over the 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
“I wasn’t worried. I felt fine five minutes later,” Sash said. Coach mentioned that I felt good on the plane, and I did. I felt good. I was watching the game in the locker room and feeling good and wishing I could be out there with my teammates and celebrate the win. But I feel good now and I’m looking forward to the game.”
Sash feels fortunate to be able to play in a Super Bowl so early in his career.
“For some people, it could be once in a lifetime,” Sash said. “I’m blessed to be a rookie, [it’s my] first year and [I] get to go to the Super Bowl. All that aside, we see the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s only nine, 10 days left until the game. Looking forward to it. We’re all in. And everything is focused on the Super Bowl.”
Sash survived a scare on Tuesday when he was struck near his left eye after opening his car door.
“I pulled up where we live, and the guy behind me pulled up behind me, and I got out of the car and then got right back in the car, but he was telling me congratulations and at the same time I opened the door and just caught myself [to the left of my left eye.] I’m so happy I didn’t catch myself in the eye.”
Sash said he was bleeding, but didn’t need stitches, and he’s fine.
He also addressed the Kyle Williams controversy. There was talk that the Giants may have game-planed to try and deliver harder hits to Williams because they knew about his concussion history.
“We’re trying to get the ball each and every time,” Sash said. “There’s not a guy that we single out. Some guy might be prone to fumbling the ball and carry the ball loose. [But we never said] anything about attacking guys or anything. Just trying to get the ball and that’s something we did twice on him, so it worked out for us.”
• Tight end Jake Ballard practiced fully on Thursday and said his knee feels “better than it has in a while.”
“I should be pretty close to 100 percent by the game,” said Ballard, who missed the final two regular season games after hurting his knee in Week 15.
Ballard has since returned, but he hasn’t been as effective. In the postseason, he has just three catches for 33 yards -- including none in the NFC Championship game.
Ballard said he felt, “all right” in that game. “Better than i did against Green Bay,” he added.
Ballard said he was able to cut and run at full speed in practice.
He’s glad to get a couple weeks to rest.
“The key thing is the last two games I haven’t taken a shot [to my knee],” Ballard said.
Ballard said he played 80 snaps last Sunday.
He had one of his best games of the season in New England on Nov. 6, catching four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.
The Giants would love a repeat performance in Super Bowl XLVI.