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Kayvon Thibodeaux has upbeat take after ‘scary Giants moment

You’re damned if you do play them in preseason sometimes, and damned if you don’t.

If you keep them in bubble wrap over the summer, they aren’t ready when the regular-season bullets start flying.

If you play your prized pass rusher, and he winds up on the ground clutching his right knee, a hush falls over the stadium, and the organization.

A hush that turns to hopeful cheers when he waves off and disdains the cart that was urgently summoned for him and walks to the sideline under his own power.

“I’m good,” Kayvon Thibodeaux said after Giants 25, Bengals 22, and smiled, and when you are walking with only a slight limp, you want to believe him.

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. But it is best to be lucky and good.

Maybe the football gods won’t be as cruel to the Giants as they have been once the MRI exam tells us more.

Maybe the Giants aren’t damned for a change.

There was 11:04 remaining in the second quarter when during a one-yard run, Thibodeaux was cut by Bengals tight end Thaddeus Moss on the kind of dirty block you should never see in preseason, headed to the medical tent and never returned.

Kayvon Thibodeaux
Kayvon Thibodeaux walks off the field.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“I think it was a pretty scary moment there,” Daniel Jones (14-16, 116 yards) said. “You never want to see anyone go down.”

He got Mossed by Randy Moss’ son. A bad kind of Mossed.

Or Beckhamed.

You might recall that back in 2017, Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a high ankle sprain on a questionable hit from then-Browns defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun in Cleveland and missed one week.

“It’s preseason,” Beckham said two years later as a Brown before a preseason game against the Jets and then-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was the Browns DC in 2017. “It’s like a known rule, in preseason nobody in the NFL’s really out to do stuff like that. I had players on this team telling me that that’s what he was telling them to do, take me out of the game, and it’s preseason. So you just know who he is. That’s the man calling the plays.”

The difference is Bengals DC Lou Anarumo is no Gregg Williams.

“Whatever the rules are, those are the rules,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said.

Jones: “It’s legal, it’s in the tackle box. It’s part of it. It’s a tough part of the game. I don’t have much experience dealing with that, I don’t play D end (smile).”

Only an obvious hold on Hakeem Adeniji that was not obvious to the zebras kept Thibodeaux from a sack on an earlier series. Thibodeaux even dropped into coverage and blanketed Moss previously, and chases down Stanley Morgan following a 10-yard completion.

Thibodeaux getting chopped down cast a temporary pall over a night when you could close your eyes and open your imagination to what Jones can yet be for Daboll (not to mention the late two-touchdown comeback heroics of Davis Montana … er, Webb and Alex Bachman).

Kayvon Thibodeaux lays on the ground after hurting his knee gainst the Bengals.
Kayvon Thibodeaux lays on the ground after hurting his knee gainst the Bengals.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

If Saquon Barkley was the running back instead of Antonio Williams or Jashaun Corbin.

If Kadarius Toney was the wide receiver instead of David Sills or Collin Johnson … even if both of them looked like pros.

Jones has.

“We gotta get the time in in practice, and build the chemistry and all that,” Jones told The Post. “I’m excited. I think we hit a lot of guys who can do a lot of different things. Those two guys are special players.”

Because Daniel Jones, in his third drive of the second preseason game, looked more in command than he has this summer.

“He’s picking up our offense,” Daboll said. “We’re trying to formulate what we’re good at. He’s made steady strides.”

Jones punched the air with his right fist after Corbin plowed ahead for the last two yards of an 84-yard touchdown drive.

Zach Wilson should do himself a favor and watch how Jones scooted safely out of bounds after gaining five yards on a third-and-3 scramble. A good sign perhaps that Jones has learned that sometimes discretion is the better part of valor after the way he lowered his head and was met helmet-to-helmet at the goal line last October by Jabril Cox in Dallas and suffered a mild concussion.

His interception came on an accurate pass that deflected off the hands of rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger.

Some bad, some good, as Daboll likes to say. It appears that the bad could have been worse.

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