What does loss of Thurmond mean for Giants D?
The New York Giants are going to be without nickel corner Walter Thurmond for the rest of the season after he was forced from the game on Sunday. Initially thought to be just a strained pectoral muscle the diagnosis has been downgraded to a tear this morning and he will miss the remainder of the season.
Thurmond signed from Seattle this offseason where he was the nickel corner there earning 585 snaps for the ‘Legion of Boom’ defense behind Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell. For the Giants he was playing significant time as their third corner – 41 of 68 snaps in the opening game against the Lions and 26 snaps before being injured against Arizona. Thurmond had been thrown at eight times this season – four targets in each game – allowing seven catches for just 54 yards.
His loss opens the position up to Trumaine McBride, who started ten games for the Giants last year and played 621 snaps. McBride had a +8.7 coverage grade in 2013, though +4.8 of that came in one game against the Redskins in the final week of the season. He didn’t play in the opener before notching 11 snaps after the loss of Thurmond against the Cardinals. He had a -1.3 grade thanks to being beaten deep only to find the ball overthrown, as well as being flagged for defensive holding on Cardinals wide out Michael Floyd.
McBride is at least a known quantity for the Giants, but poses interesting questions regarding who now covers the slot. McBride played almost exclusively outside a year ago with just 19 of his 621 snaps coming from the slot.