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.
Thomas collected six tackles (five solo) and a sack in Sunday's 44-33 victory over Jacksonville.
This year's third overall pick put his skills on display against a tough Jacksonville squad, making 1.5 tackles for a loss in addition to his third sack of the season. Overall, Thomas hasn't posted numbers that are very useful to IDP owners (40 tackles and three sacks), but he was brought along slowly as a backup to start the year, and then games like Sunday's remind us of the potential he has a defensive force.
Thomas (knee) is active for Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
The rookie first-round pick missed the last two games, but his troubles have ended. Thomas will slot back in as the 49ers' starting defensive end, and he'll look to break through a poor Seahawks offensive line to pressure QB Russell Wilson. The Stanford product has 26 tackles and two sacks through eight games.
Thomas has been sidelined the previous two weeks while nursing a knee injury. His status for Sunday's game does not figure to be confirmed until he goes through some warmups prior to kickoff. Should the rookie ultimately remain sidelined, Ronald Blair and Elivis Dumervil would likely continue seeing increased snaps.
|2017||San Francisco 49ers||14||41||34.0||7||3||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|