Thomas caught one of two targets for seven yards in Sunday's 26-7 win over the Saints. Thomas made a minimal impact in the passing game, but it's worth noting he once again played more snaps than starting tight end Dan Arnold. In fact, with 52 offensive plays compared to Arnold's 22, Thomas was on the field far more than Arnold, but the latter's three catches for 55 yards Sunday evidenced his greater upside than Thomas, who sports just 24 yards through two games so far and has primarily been used as a blocker.
Thomas caught one of two targets for 17 yards in Sunday's 19-14 win over the Jets. Thomas opened the third quarter with a long gain and actually played two more snaps than starter Dan Arnold, who managed just a pair of catches for six yards. Although Thomas isn't expected to be much of a factor in Carolina's passing game this season, occasional impact plays like Sunday's grab would keep him in the mix for spare looks.
Coach Matt Rhule pointed out Thomas has had a "great offseason" earlier this month and suggested he still has a chance to lay claim to the Panthers' starting tight end role, Darin Gantt of the Panthers' official site reports. Thomas posted a promising rookie season back in 2018 but hasn't really followed it up with much of note in each of the last two, finishing out 2020 with just 20 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers signed Dan Arnold and drafted Tommy Tremble this offseason to shore up the position, but it looks like Thomas will still get a fair shake for the starting job and he's put in work this offseason to keep himself in the conversation. This job battle will likely continue into training camp.
Thomas finished the 2020 season with 20 catches on 31 targets for 145 yards and a touchdown in 16 games played. Thomas was expected to assume a larger role in Carolina's passing game following the departure of long-time Pro-Bowler Greg Olsen, but that simply did not manifest despite Thomas playing about 65 percent of the offensive snaps. In fact, the 2018 fourth-rounder's final production closely mirrored that from 2019, when he experienced significant dips from his promising rookie campaign. With 2021 marking the final year of Thomas' current contract, he should be plenty motivated to elevate his involvement, but it remains to be seen whether he'll be featured more, plus the Panthers could always add another option at tight end.
Thomas wasn't targeted in Sunday's 20-13 win over Washington. Thomas played 40 offensive snaps, but he failed to receive a target for the second time in five games. The third-year tight end has struggled to generate meaningful production this season despite Greg Olsen's departure, as he's posted a 19-146-1 line through 15 games.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/24||@New York Giants||29||12.00|
|9||11/07||New England Patriots||4||1.00|
|11||11/21||Washington Football Team||14||5.00|
|16||12/26||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||19||7.00|
|17||01/02||@New Orleans Saints||10||4.00|
|18||01/09||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||19||7.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||37||24||205||1||14||8.54||26|