Thomas (concussion) is expected to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Colts, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Thomas has been sidelined since Aug. 9 after suffering a head injury that turned out to be a concussion, but additional tests appear to have revealed enough progress to warrant him being an expected participant. It's good timing for his return, as the starters generally play their most significant snaps in the third preseason game.
Thomas sustained a head injury and won't return to Thursday's preseason opener against the Cowboys, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
It isn't entirely clear what Thomas is dealing with. There's been no word of him being in the concussion protocol, but a concussion still can't be ruled out. We'll likely know more about his injury in the coming days.
Thomas has impressed coaches and teammates with his ability to win one-on-one matchups during team activities. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh acknowledged that the rookie got "gobbled up" at times last season, something that he expects to happen less this year based on the defensive lineman's improvement in "second moves" and a better grasp on attacking edges. Thomas' rookie season was considered a bit of a disappointment (43 tackles and three sacks), but it sounds like he is making strides towards becoming the pass rusher the 49ers hoped he would be after selecting him third overall last year.
Thomas is expected to play defensive end on early downs and tackle on passing downs in 2018, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports.
Thomas was eased into NFL play during 2017 and a midseason knee injury didn't help his cause. Regardless, the 2017 first-round pick made 41 tackles (34 solo) and three sacks in his rookie campaign. The new role should help him stay on the field for all three down and hopefully fire up his stat line. Most importantly, the 49ers hope Thomas can develop into the pass rusher that racked up eight sacks in his final season at Stanford.
Thomas finished his rookie season with 41 tackles (34 solo) to go along with three sacks through 14 games.
While he was active for 14 contests, the 49ers elected to bring the third-overall pick along slowly in a limited role. Thomas was finally unleashed against the Cardinals in Week 4 and put together a three-game stretch which flashed his disruptive potential as a pass-rusher (16 tackles and two sacks in three starts). A knee injury slowed him down mid-season, but Thomas finished the year on a high note against the Jaguars (six tackles and his third sack) when he was once again given a full allotment of defensive snaps. The 22-year-old's lackluster totals should suppress his value heading into his sophomore campaign, but he possesses the potential to be an IDP factor as a defensive lineman if he is given the green light to be on the field for the majority of the club's defensive snaps.
|3||9/23/18||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|4||9/30/18||@ LAC||4:25 pm|
|6||10/15/18||@ GB||8:15 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ ARI||4:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/25/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ SEA||8:20 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|2017||San Francisco 49ers||14||41||34.0||7||3||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||2||3||2.0||1||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||San Francisco 49ers||14||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|