Jeff Saturday is not happy with how the Indianapolis Colts offensive line handled — or didn’t handle — the situation. The interim Colts head coach blasted Thibodeaux’s sack celebration on Monday as “trash” and “tasteless” while delivering a message to the Indianapolis offensive line.
“Yeah, tasteless and trash from the celebration afterward, just trash — not a fan of it at all,” Saturday told reporters when asked about Thibodeaux’s celebration. “And yeah, disappointed from the O-line perspective and for teammates in general.
“We protect our own. I mean, y’all know me, man. I’ve been here a long time. So I’m just gonna tread lightly. Obviously, I didn’t like it at all, and that’s where I’ll leave it.”
The incident took place during the second quarter of the New York Giants‘ 38-10 win. Thibodeaux, a rising rookie star for the Giants, sacked Foles after getting a free run at the Colts quarterback on a third-down play. The tackle drove Foles into the ground, and the Colts quarterback writhed in pain and appeared to convulse in the aftermath of the hit.
Meanwhile, Thibodeaux laid on his back and made mock snow angles to celebrate the hit just inches away from Foles. Thibodeaux didn’t appear to realize at the time that Foles was injured. But it wasn’t a great look.
Foles was ruled out of the game with a rib injury. Saturday announced on Monday that Foles won’t play in Sunday’s season finale against the Houston Texans. After the game, Thibodeaux told reporters that he didn’t realize that Foles was injured as he celebrated.
“When I did realize that he was hurt, that’s when we started getting up,” Thibodeaux said, per ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin. “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.”
While Saturday’s not happy with Thibodeaux, his main issue appears to be with his own players. Saturday played 13 seasons at center for the Colts where he snapped the ball to Peyton Manning, won a Super Bowl and made three All-Pro teams. Colts linemen on Sunday took no issue with Thibodeaux as their quarterback lay injured on the turf. This doesn’t sit well with Saturday.
The incident and its aftermath were the latest letdown in what’s been one of the NFL season’s most disappointing campaigns. A Colts team with playoff aspirations has instead seen its season spiral into a 4-11-1 disaster. They fired head coach Frank Reich midseason and have twice benched starting quarterback Matt Ryan.
The Colts were roundly mocked for replacing Reich with Saturday, a franchise stalwart as a player who took the interim job with zero head coaching experience beyond the high school level. A 1-6 stretch that includes allowing the largest comeback in NFL history suggests that Saturday was indeed not ready for the role.
Sunday’s game obviously didn’t improve the situation. But Saturday seems intent on instilling his culture as long as he remains on the Indianapolis sideline.