Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday called Giants pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux’s snow angel celebration next to an injured Nick Foles “tasteless” and “trash” on Monday.
Saturday also expressed disappointment in the Colts’ offensive linemen for not doing anything about Thibodeaux’s showboating in Sunday’s second quarter at MetLife Stadium.
“Tasteless from the celebration afterwards,” Saturday said on Zoom. “Just trash. Not a fan of it at all. And yeah, disappointed from the O-line perspective and from teammates in general. We protect our own man.”
Colts center Ryan Kelly did rip Thibodeaux after Sunday’s 38-10 Giants win.
“Hopefully his teammates will – maybe one day he’ll learn that injuries happen in this league,” Kelly told Colts.com. “You never want [that] to happen to the guy that you’re going against. That’s just horsesh-t.”
But no Colts player retaliated on the field. And Saturday promised to speak directly to his players about it.
“I’m just gonna tread lightly,” he said. “Obviously I didn’t like it at all. And that’s where I’ll leave it. We’ll have a discussion about it.”
Thibodeaux, for his part, said after the game that he didn’t know Foles was hurt while he was celebrating.
He expressed surprise that people on social media thought he would celebrate like that if he’d known Foles was badly injured.
“When I did realize that he was hurt, that’s when we started getting up,” Thibodeaux told reporters at his locker, per ESPN. “When you’re doing a celebration, you’re not looking to see who’s doing what. But I hope he gets well, and I hope he’s all right.”
The Giants rookie edge rusher also did the “go to sleep” sign with his hands on the sideline a minute after the sack, though. So at the very least, this should be a good lesson for him in optics, no matter what his intentions.
Because regardless of what he meant to do, it wasn’t a good look.
Giants head coach Brian Daboll spoke on Zoom earlier on Monday before Saturday blasted Thibodeaux. But Daboll defended Thibodeaux when asked about that scene.
“Quite sure that he didn’t know the player was hurt,” the Giants’ head coach. “Kayvon is a good young man, and I know he responded to questions about that yesterday. So I’ll leave that to him.”
The Giants players are off on both Monday and Tuesday. Thibodeaux will have a chance to respond on Wednesday in the post-practice locker room – if he doesn’t say something on social media first.
MCKINNEY TIRED BUT ENCOURAGED
Free safety Xavier McKinney joked that he was “tired as hell” after Sunday’s seven-tackle return from a seven-game absence due to a broken left hand.
“Hell yeah, I’m tired,” the third-year safety said with a smile. “We had one drive in there, that sh-t was like 12 plays. I’m like goddamn, I have to get used to being out there for that long. And I’m looking to the sideline like, ‘Sh-t, I’m getting tired. But I was fine.”
That third-quarter drive was actually 16 plays. McKinney was gassed because he dove right back into a huge workload rather than acclimating slowly. He played 48 snaps, or 83% of the defense’s 58 total. And he said he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“At first they were saying a snap count, but I told them if I’m gonna play in this game, I’m gonna play. I’m not going in for any snap counts,” said McKinney, who had worked back from a bye week ATV accident in Cabo. “So they respected that. They trusted me to be transparent with them and let them know how I felt throughout the game. So we saw eye to eye on that, and I was happy they trusted me to be able to do that.”
McKinney went into the X-ray room after the game to have his hand looked at, but he said it was fine and “I feel good.” The doctors cleared him to practice with the first-team defense on Friday to get him ready to be activated for Sunday.
McKinney did appear a bit slow to get up on his final tackle on Colts back Zack Moss in the third quarter. And McKinney, who allowed a 49-yard completion to Parris Campbell in the first quarter, was subbed out after that 16-play Colts TD drive in a blowout.
But the priority was to return to play and prepare for the playoffs. And he did that with seven total tackles, including four solo, and a pass defended in a huge win.
“I feel good,” he said.