FRISCO, Texas - It's been almost 11 days since starting left guard Tyler Smith suffered a hamstring injury in individual drills that ended up sidelining him for the first game of the season, but spirits remain high for the second-year first-round pick out of Tulsa amid his recovery.
With progress already being made, Smith feels better with each day that passes but is also trying to remain patient with what he says is the first injury that's kept him out of a game throughout his college and NFL career.
"Things are moving along really well," Smith said. "I'm pretty satisfied with the pace at which things are going, but I'm a quick-minded dude in the fact that I want to be on the field with my brothers. I want to play."
The injury happened early in Monday's practice last week leading into the Giants game, as he was giving a look for a fellow offensive lineman and felt an immediate unease in the back of his leg.
"It was tricky at first," he said. "When it happened, I didn't know what had happened. I wasn't 100-percent sure. Obviously I had suspicions, but it was a surprise for sure. It was one of the most unexpected things that could've happened."
In his absence on Sunday, Chuma Edoga filled in and provided great help to the offensive line up front. With Edoga being a natural tackle, Smith was happy to see his teammate show some versatility - especially after Smith had to do the same in 2022.
"I think Chuma did a wonderful job," Smith said. "The things I did last year, I think it's had a bleed effect on everybody in the room. Even TJ [Bass] taking snaps at center, learning how to play center. Chuma moving in at guard. The way they play Asim [Richards]. I think that positional flex is a huge part of our team and our room."
Moving forward, Smith's status still remains up in the air going into Sunday's home opener against the Jets. While Smith is eager to return, he knows that going through the entirety of the rehab process will allow him to be healthier when he does make his return.
"Patience is a huge thing," he said. "It can be frustrating for any athlete to suffer a setback or a hiccup like that, but I'm being smart in my rehab. Improving my process is a part of it."
"My head's in a good place, I can say that. I've progressed a lot further from where I was 11 days ago. I'm much better."