New York Giants rookie outside linebacker Kayvon Thibdodeaux is taking a lot of heat for his actions after sacking — and injuring — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Nick Foles in the Giants’ 38-10 win on Sunday.
Thibodeaux’s second-quarter sack of Foles knocked the veteran quarterback from the game but it was the celebration afterward that drew the ire of the Colts and critics around the league.
Foles was writhing in pain on the turf while the rookie did ‘snow angels’ right next to him, apparently unaware of the severity of Foles’ injuries.
Kayvon Thibodeaux sacked Nick Foles and then did a snow angel next to a very injured Foles pic.twitter.com/MQgT6WhtTm
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 1, 2023
Foles was subsequently carted off the field but that didn’t prevent Thibodeaux from continuing his celebration.
“Hopefully his teammates will — maybe one day he’ll learn that injuries happen in this league, you never want to happen to the guy that you’re going against,” Colts center Ryan Kelly told reporters after the game, via the New York Post.
“That’s just horse [expletive].”
After the game, Thibodeaux said he didn’t realize Foles was injured.
“I mean, after a sack you celebrate. I think, when I did realize he was hurt, we started getting up,” Thibodeaux said, via Art Stapleton of USA TODAY. “When you’re doing the celebration, you’re not looking to see who’s doing what. I hope he gets well and I hope he’s all right, obviously.”
Head coach Brian Daboll also told reporters on Monday that Thibodeaux meant no disrespect and didn’t realize Foles was hurt.
But Colts head coach Jeff Saturday didn’t want to hear any of that. He ripped Thibs for being “tasteless” and “trash.” He was also angry that his offensive lineman didn’t go after the rookie.
Colts QB Nick Foles will not play in the team’s season finale Sunday vs. Houston.
“Really sore … lot of pain,” says interim HC Jeff Saturday.
Calls the Thibodeaux celebration “tasteless and trash.”
Adds he’s disappointing the Colts linemen didn’t step up in that setting.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 2, 2023
It’s very common for rookies to get amped up in big games and lose their heads. The crowd in this game was especially fiery given what was at stake — a trip to the NFC Playoffs.
“The crowd was electric,’” Thibodeaux said. “I think that is what we are going to need moving forward. Whatever home games we do get, however, we can travel, fans — y’all need to be there.”
Don’t expect Thibodeaux to slow his roll. He is still operating with a bit of a chip on his shoulder and is gaining confidence and experience with each passing week. He’s destined for great things in this league and must realize that there is an expected level of professionalism, class, and sportsmanship from players in this league that he has yet to learn.
It’s important to note that Thibs has no history of dirty play and the sack itself was a clean, legal hit.