Thomas caught his only target for 15 yards in Sunday's 36-21 win over the Ravens. Thomas played eight offensive snaps working behind Greg Olsen at tight end. Although that role hasn't proven conducive to much production at all, he at least caught his lone look Week 8.
Thomas did not play a snap on offense in Sunday's 21-17 win over the Eagles. Thomas has been relegated to special teams duty in light of Greg Olsen returning from injury to claim his every-down role at tight end.
Thomas caught three of six targets for 38 yards during Sunday's 33-31 win over the Giants. Thomas tied for second on the team in targets, but he did't make much of an impact outside of a 27-yard gain in the second quarter. While this effort was modest at best for Thomas, he notched a new career high in yardage and has now improved in that category with each passing week of the season. Thomas could put up useful numbers if he ever takes full advantage of his newfound role in the offense, with his next chance to step up coming Sunday against the Redskins.
Thomas is likely to serve as the Panthers' primary tight end with Greg Olsen (foot) expected to be sidelined for at least a month, David Newton of ESPN.com reports. Chris Manhertz also lingers as an experienced reserve option at tight end, and the Panthers will most likely add depth to the position group via signing or trade, but Thomas, a rookie fourth-round pick from Indiana, should get the first crack at replacing Olsen thanks to the upside he offers as a pass catcher. Though the 22-year-old was considered raw heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, he offers quality athleticism at the position and already drew a couple looks from quarterback Cam Newton in the season-opening win over the Cowboys, corralling both of his targets and gaining four yards. Head coach Ron Rivera seemed confident Monday in Thomas' ability to fill in for Olsen, stating that the rookie "has been prepared for this moment" while praising his development as a blocker and route runner, according to Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer.
Thomas participated in Monday's practice, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports. The reason for Thomas having missed Sunday's practice remains undisclosed, but it appears his absence wasn't due to injury. The combine standout will continue to compete with Chris Manhertz for the No. 2 tight end role in training camp.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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