FOXBOROUGH — Typically, veterans like Demaryius Thomas don’t play in fourth and final preseason games, but Thursday was a bit different for the 31-year-old.
Thomas is coming back from from an Achilles injury suffered last December and hadn’t seen any action yet this summer. With this being his last chance to get a tune up before Week 1, Thomas, as well as Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon, took the field against the Giants.
The former Broncos and Texans receiver was the star of the game, finishing with seven catches on eight targets for 87 yards and two touchdowns with rookie Jarrett Stidham at quarterback.
“Yes, sir,” he said when asked if he felt he needed to play. “To get to game pace, get the calls, line up, see different coverages, different guys than the guys I see at practice – you know, I think it’s a great start for me and I can build on it.”
Earlier in the week when Thomas addressed the media for the first time, he acknowledged there have been some good as well as bad days in his rehab. It seemed like he himself needed Thursday to prove he would be just fine come the regular season.
“I actually feel a lot better now,” he said. “Before the injury, I was a little smaller. But I’m a little heavier, a little stronger. The program we’ve been doing here has helped out a lot, so I feel great.”
Thomas added: “I just go out and play. If I’m going to get hurt, I’m going to get hurt, but I’m going to be full speed getting hurt. My Achilles is great. I’m going to do whatever I can to play my best ball. I’m not going to think about anything, I’m not going to have it in the back of my head, because usually when I have it in the back of my head, I don’t play my best. So, I’m just going to give my best, and if I get hurt, I just get hurt.”
Some believed Thomas was not a lock to make the roster heading into Thursday, but following his performance on the field, he left little doubt that he is.