The recent criticism of New York Giants rookie linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux and his actions following a sack of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Nick Foles has been well-documented.
Colts head coach Jeff Saturday called Thibodeaux’s snow angel celebration alongside an obviously injured Foles tasteless’ and ‘trash.’ Thibodeaux responded by saying that he did not know who Saturday was and that he had no idea Foles was injured on the play.
The Giants have backed Thibodeaux publicly, although it’s unknown if they spoke to him privately. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was asked his take on Saturday’s comments.
“I think the company line is we’re moving onto Philly, but I’ll tell you this, he did not know that quarterback was hurt,” Martindale said on Thursday.
“He’s a good guy and he did not know he was hurt. That’s a dangerous play when there are two free runners coming off the edge of the backside of the quarterback, but he did not know that Nick Foles was hurt and he wouldn’t have done that if he did know that.”
Still, all that’s remaining in the public’s mind is Thibodeaux’s seemingly callous reaction. In the wake of this week’s Damar Hamlin incident, where the football world came together to care for a fallen colleague, the optics of this situation tells another story to onlookers.
Martindale agreed the optics were bad but was quick to say that his star rookie meant no disrespect since he was unaware of Foles’ condition.
“To me, it doesn’t look as bad as everybody’s trying to blow this thing up as because I know he did not know he was hurt,” Martindale said. “I know the guy, I know the person, I know his heart. I get a little protective of that, I know I do, probably sounded that way, but that’s just how I feel.”
Hopefully, this has been put to bed but it’s going to be Thibodeaux who has to change the narrative by not repeating such behavior.