Thomas has a good chance to win Washington's starting job at tight end, according to Kyle Stackpole of the team's official web site.
The Virginia Tech quarterback turned 2014 fourth-round pick has drifted around the NFL as a backup tight end, with last season's 16-173-1 receiving line in Detroit representing a career-best performance. It may not sound like much, but Washington saw enough to give Thomas a two-year, $6.15 million contract, which is the largest commitment to any player in a tight-end room full of journeymen and undrafted youngsters. Coach Ron Rivera compared Thomas to Greg Olsen in terms of athleticism, and while that's likely an exaggeration, the soon-to-be 29-year-old does have a nice opportunity ahead. Competition for snaps consists of Jeremy Sprinkle, Richard Rodgers, Hale Hentges and Thaddeus Moss.
Thomas is signing with Washington, John Keim of ESPN.com reports.
Thomas will have a nice opportunity to earn playing time in Washington, where both Jordan Reed (free agent) and Vernon Davis (retired) have exited the picture at tight end. The team finished out 2019 with Jeremy Sprinkle and Hale Hentges atop its depth chart, while Thomas served as the No. 2 tight end in Detroit after T.J. Hockenson suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Thomas played quarterback at Virginia Tech from 2010 to 2013, so he's arguably still a work in progress as he prepares for his age-29 season. Washington eventually figures to bring in more competition at tight end.
Thomas, who caught one of three targets for 15 yards in Sunday's finale against Green Bay, finished the 2019 season with 16 catches (28 targets) for 173 yards and one touchdown in 16 games.
While Thomas has had a slow but steady transition from quarterback to tight end over the past few years, he modestly set career marks across the board in 2019. Some of that may be due to T.J. Hockenson (ankle) missing time, but in any case, Thomas at least showed himself to be a serviceable depth option who can catch a few passes when called upon. It remains to be seen if any team around the league will reward Thomas this offseason for his development, as the 28-year-old is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the league year.
Thomas caught two of three targets for 17 yards during Sunday's 27-17 loss to Denver.
Thomas has seen a handful of targets each of the past few games with David Blough at quarterback, but the thrower's limitations have significantly capped the upside of all players in this offense. While Thomas wasn't a huge fantasy threat anyway, there's even less of a reason to trust a Lions tight end in fantasy without Matthew Stafford (back) steering the ship.
Thomas failed to catch any of his four targets during Sunday's 38-17 loss to the Buccaneers.
Thomas shared starting honors with Jesse James and actually wound up as the position leader in offensive snaps by a slim margin. However, Thomas wasn't able to bring down any of the passes that were sent his way, and he consequently laid his sixth goose egg in 15 games. Despite the increase in playing time he's experiencing in T.J. Hockenson's (ankle) absence, it's not reasonable to expect a whole lot from the tight end as long as he's catching passes from a backup-caliber quarterback in David Blough.
Thomas caught two of four targets for 21 yards during Sunday's 20-7 loss to Minnesota.
Despite T.J. Hockenson (ankle) going on injured reserve, Thomas wasn't in the starting lineup with Jesse James. However, he ultimately saw 40 offensive snaps and a season-high four targets compared to 38 and two, respectively, for James, so initially it's looking like Thomas, rather unsurprisingly, will be the bigger beneficiary of Hockenson's absence down the stretch. While Thomas has yet to top three catches or 25 receiving yards this season, he's only seen more than 20 offensive snaps on four occasions prior to this Sunday, and this week's matchup with Tampa Bay is about as inviting as it gets.
Thomas was not targeted in the passing game during Thursday's 24-20 loss to the Bears.
After Thomas logged a season-high 28 offensive snaps last week, it seemed like his role was expanding in the Lions offense. However, the banged-up T.J. Hockenson (shoulder/leg) commanded 11 targets from new quarterback David Blough on Thursday -- compared to zero for Thomas and Jesse James combined -- which, coupled with the dip in playing time, suggests otherwise. Thomas at least has the kind of receiving upside that James does not, but it will still be difficult to trust Thomas as anything more than a cheap dart throw in DFS.
Thomas caught both of his targets for 24 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 19-16 loss to Washington.
With usual starter T.J. Hockenson nursing a shoulder injury, Thomas logged a season-high 28 offensive snaps en route to his second career touchdown. While No. 2 tight end Jesse James (32 snaps) logged more playing time, Thomas is the more polished receiver and is clearly the better bet for production. Unfortunately, the continued absence of Matthew Stafford (back) for Thursday's game against the Bears all but limits Thomas' upside to that of what he did this past weekend in Washington.
Thomas was targeted once but did not record a catch during Sunday's 35-27 loss to Dallas.
Despite not making a dent in the stat sheet, it was a significant day for Thomas considering he saw more offensive snaps (22) than Jesse James (15) did. It's possible Thomas could be playing more thanks to his receiving skills in a post-Kerryon Johnson (knee) offense that can't establish the run, but in case that's not the explanation, it'll be interesting to see how an upturn in playing time could translate to his fantasy production, particularly whenever Matthew Stafford (back) is back in action.
Thomas caught both of his targets for 19 yards during Sunday's 20-13 loss to Chicago.
The gap between Thomas (18 snaps) and No. 2 tight end Jesse James (28) was greater than it was last week when Thomas only saw one fewer snap, but Thomas was yet again the more impactful receiver of the two. The issue is that Thomas probably won't ever handle a large enough workload to be of fantasy relevance as long as T.J. Hockenson remains healthy.
Thomas caught one of two targets for 13 yards during Sunday's 31-24 loss to the Raiders.
Thomas saw the line between the No. 2 and 3 tight end blur as much as it ever has Sunday when he logged 19 offensive snaps compared to 20 for Jesse James. Rookie T.J. Hockenson of course led the way with 46, but it's possible a change in offensive approach could be taking place without RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) around, as James has now set season lows in playing time in three consecutive weeks. It's also possible that James could be back to the clear No. 2 this time next week if it turns out Thomas' skill set was just especially preferred in a matchup against a Raiders defense with better run support than pass coverage. How the playing time is divided next Sunday against the Bears will be more telling of any potential role changes.
Thomas caught his only target for 17 yards during Sunday's 31-26 victory over the Giants.
Logging just seven snaps on offense, Thomas's playing time again paled in comparison to that of T.J. Hockenson (42) and Jesse James (22). This time he at least made a dent in the stat sheet after failing to do so the past two games, but Thomas probably is at least a Hockenson injury away from fantasy relevance.
Thomas logged 12 offensive snaps during Sunday's 42-30 loss to Minnesota.
Thomas appeared on the injury report last week due to a shoulder issue, but the fact he played Sunday confirms he wasn't dealing with a significant injury.
Thomas (shoulder) was a full participant in Thursday's practice.
Thomas was limited in practice Wednesday due to a shoulder injury, and he now appears to have put the issue behind him. The 28-year-old will play his usual depth role during Sunday's divisional tilt against the Vikings.
Thomas was a limited participant for practice due to a shoulder injury.
There wasn't news that Thomas had been dealing with an injury, but it's serious enough to force him to miss some practice reps. The 28-year-old hasn't been featured in the offense yet this season, considering he's seen just six targets through five games. If he can't go Sunday against Minnesota, T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James would be the only healthy tight ends on the roster.
Thomas secured all three of his targets for 25 yards during Sunday's 34-30 loss to Kansas City.
The former Virginia Tech quarterback seems to get better at tight end with every week, and he ultimately drew even with T.J. Hockenson (concussion) in targets and receptions while outpacing Jesse James in both categories. While the absence of Danny Amendola (chest) may have inflated Thomas' usage Sunday, Thomas could be a bigger beneficiary than James if Hockenson is unable to play Week 6 against the Packers.
Thomas caught his only target for a 13-yard gain during Sunday's 27-24 victory over the Eagles.
Thomas remains the clear No. 3 tight end behind T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James. He's yet to draw more than a single target in any game this year and that's unlikely to change as long as the guys ahead of him stay healthy.
Thomas secured his only target for a seven-yard gain during Sunday's 13-10 victory over the Chargers.
Thomas logged only six snaps compared to 48 for T.J. Hockenson and 30 for Jesse James. It's unlikely that distribution will significantly change in Thomas' favor anytime soon.
Thomas re-signed with the Lions on Monday, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports.
Thomas was surprisingly cut by the Lions on Sunday, but he'll return to the 53-man roster a day later. The 28-year-old is set to serve as the team's third tight end behind Jesse James and T.J. Hockenson.
Thomas was released by the Lions on Sunday, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News reports.
This is a surprise since Thomas was being hyped as a lock to make the roster most of the summer. Nevertheless, Detroit evidently needed roster space to bring on former Seahawks running back J.D. McKissic, and Thomas drew the short stick. The Lions will thus roll with only two tight ends on the active roster to start the season, though it's possible Thomas could be re-signed to the team prior to Week 1, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.
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