Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh hopes that new defensive line coach Kris Kocurek can take Thomas' game to the next level in 2019, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Thomas started all 16 games for the 49ers in his sophomore campaign, finishing with 31 tackles (24 solo), a sack and three tackles for a loss. The 22-year-old showed some improvement in terms of being a disruptive backfield presence playing both on the outside and the interior of the defensive line, but his statistics were underwhelming for a player taken third overall in the 2017 draft. The team described Kocurek's addition as "an opportunity they needed to take advantage of," and Thomas' development and usage next season will be one of the new coach's primary tasks this offseason. Until we see an actual improvement in Thomas' pass-rush numbers, it will be tough to justify IDP relevance given the lackluster stats the lineman has posted over his first two seasons.
Thomas had three solo tackles and his first sack of the season in Thursday's 34-3 win over Oakland.
Thomas has started seven of nine games this season but sees a limited snap count defensively, which is illustrated by his season total of 17 tackles (14 solo). The 22-year-old's limited role and inconsistent production when on the field makes him an unattractive option for IDP purposes.
Thomas suffered a shoulder injury during San Francisco's Week 4 loss to the Chargers, but has not been listed on the team's injury report this week. There's no reason to believe that Thomas is in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
Thomas suffered a shoulder injury during Sunday's loss to the Chargers but is expected to be okay moving forward, Joe Fann of the team's official site reports.
Although the shoulder injury is not believed to be serious, Thomas' situation is something to monitor until he proves he's at 100 percent. Should the big man practice in full at any point this week it would likely simmer concerns.
Thomas (concussion) suited up for Saturday's preseason tilt, recording three tackles (all solo) in a loss to Indianapolis.
Thomas suffered the head injury in the 49ers' first preseason game two weeks ago. The timely return puts the 22-year-old on track to begin the regular season in full capacity. The 2017 third-overall pick experienced his ups and downs in his rookie campaign, but he will enter a pivotal 2018 season with an every-down role as the club's Leo defensive end.
|2017||San Francisco 49ers||14||41||34.0||7||3||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||16||31||24.0||7||1||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||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|