Andrew Thomas-Chase Young rivalry over after Commanders trade
Andrew Thomas battling Chase Young in the trenches was supposed to be a hallmark of the Giants-Commanders rivalry for a decade.
Moreover, the two meetings each season and development of both players could be used as a referendum on the value of tanking games for better draft positioning.
Instead, the book is closed earlier than expected because the Commanders traded the free-agent-to-be Young to the 49ers last month, ending the tale of the tape after just three head-to-head matchups over four seasons.
Thomas (knee) might also be missing from Sunday’s game as he is questionable with a knee injury.
“We didn’t even have that many matchups because of different injuries or whatnot,” Thomas told The Post. “But we would chop it up after the game every time we played. You’re always excited to go against good competition. I wish him the best. He’s in a great situation now and … it’s better for us.”
The Giants’ visit to Washington comes against the backdrop of outside chatter that the best-case scenario for the franchise is to lose out the final seven games and be set up to draft a new franchise quarterback in 2024.
The idea was similar late in the 2019 season, when the Giants and Washington met with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft — and the right to draft the “can’t-miss” pass-rusher Young — looming as a “prize” for the loser.
The Giants won the game, 41-35, in overtime. Sure enough, Washington drafted Young at No. 2, while the Giants pivoted to Thomas at No. 4.
“We get so caught up in the playoffs and Super Bowl,” Thomas said. “Everybody wants to win. That’s the goal. But that’s not the situation right now, so we’re trying to build a winning culture and that starts with how you approach every day.”
The Giants have no regrets about winding up with a 24-year-old franchise left tackle who signed a five-year, $117.5 million extension coming off of last season’s All-Pro selection instead of Young.
And Thomas, who missed seven games because of injury earlier this season, said he isn’t surprised that circumstances changed in the rivalry that never was.
“It’s a business,” Thomas said. “Whatever you are thinking, you don’t know what’s going on inside another building or the backstory to any situation. You have to prepare yourself and get your mind right for whoever you are facing.”
CB Adoree’ Jackson (concussion) and RT Evan Neal (ankle) will not play against the Commanders.
OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux and WR Jalin Hyatt returned to practice Friday and cleared the concussion protocol, so they will be available.
QB Tyrod Taylor (ribs) was running on the field before practice and is “making progress,” head coach Brian Daboll said.
He must sit out two more games on injured reserve, making him eligible to return Dec. 11 against the Packers.
Daboll’s successor as Bills offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey, was fired this week.
Dorsey spent two seasons as Bills quarterbacks coach under Daboll and reportedly was in the mix to become the Giants offensive coordinator in 2022 before choosing to stay put.
“He’s a friend, first and foremost,” Daboll said. “I’ve got enough on my plate to focus on Washington.”