The 49ers believe Thomas may have sustained an ACL injury during Sunday's win over the Jets, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Maiocco stopped short of saying Thomas tore his ACL, but the team will likely run an MRI to see the extent of the damage. With Nick Bosa expected to be done for the year with a confirmed torn ACL, Thomas' potential season-ending injury is another hit to team's defensive line.
Thomas (knee) needed to be carted off the field during Sunday's game against the Jets, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. More disasterous news for the 49ers, as both Thomas and Nick Bosa needed to be carted off the field during Sunday's game in the first quarter. Thomas was down on the field in pain, seeming to tend to his left knee. As long as he's out, Kevin Givens appears in line to see an uptick in snaps at defensive tackle.
Thomas will be moved to the inside and used more as a pass-rushing defensive tackle this season, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Thomas has struggled winning battles against offensive tackles over his first three seasons as a pro, so the 49ers will look to move him to defensive tackle in 2020. The 2017 third-overall pick bulked up to 282 pounds this offseason, and while he is still undersized as a traditional defensive tackle against the run, he is having success in camp at beating his inside assignments against guards and centers in passing situations. Expect Thomas to be utilized in that role in nickel and lighter formations, possibly splitting time with either D.J. Jones or Javon Kinlaw. It wouldn't be surprising to see the 25-year-old surpass his career high of just three sacks despite seeing fewer snaps overall.
Thomas had his fifth-year option declined by the 49ers on Friday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports. The No. 3 overall pick in 2017 has fallen short of expectations to an extreme degree through his first three seasons, and the 49ers will not agree to keep him through 2021 at this stage. Thomas saw his snap count drop from 646 in 2018 to 428 in 2019 as he became a rotational piece on San Francisco's defensive line. He will get one more season to right the ship before he hits free agency in 2021.
Thomas had 21 tackles (15 solo) and two sacks over 16 games during the 2019 regular season. Thomas -- the third overall pick in 2017 -- spent most of the season as a backup and situational interior rusher on third downs. The Stanford product was given a brief opportunity to show off his skills as an edge rusher when multiple defensive ends went down to injury midway through the season, but he simply did not look comfortable in that role. San Francisco boasts the best defensive line in football, so Thomas should remain a backup even if the team does not bring Arik Armstead back this upcoming offseason.
|* indicates player did not play that week|