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.
Thomas caught three of four targets for 29 yards in Saturday's 24-16 loss to the Packers.
Thomas' yardage total actually marked a new season high. The tight end has hauled in three passes in consecutive games, giving him a little momentum ahead of next Sunday's game against Washington.
Thomas caught three of four targets for 20 yards in Sunday's 32-27 loss to the Broncos.
Thomas matched his season high in receptions, enabling him to reach 20 yards for just the second time this term. Despite clearly having restricted upside, Thomas' outing Sunday was at least some sign of progress.
Thomas (knee) is active Week 14 against the Broncos.
Thomas popped up on the injury report late this week with a knee injury, but it won't prevent him from suiting up for the home matchup against Denver. While he's been targeted in the passing game only three times in the past three weeks, Thomas continues to see plenty of snaps. With DJ Moore (COVID) sidelined this week, there may be a few extra targets to go around that may have otherwise gone to the wideouts.
Thomas (knee) is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Denver.
Thomas didn't pop up on the injury report until Friday's practice, when he was a full participant, so it seems like he's still trending toward suiting up. Chris Manhertz likely will draw the start if Thomas were to miss time, but Carolina's tight end position simply hasn't reliably produced for fantasy this season.
Thomas caught one of two targets for four yards in Sunday's 28-27 loss to the Vikings.
Thomas has managed more than one reception in just three of 12 appearances thus far, leaving him with very little fantasy value despite his starting tight-end job.
Thomas didn't receive a target during Sunday's win over the Lions.
Chris Manhertz and Thomas played 42 and 40 offensive snaps during the contest, respectively, but neither player recorded a catch Sunday. Thomas has played at least 56 percent of offensive snaps in every game this season, but he has only 12 catches for 93 yards and one touchdown.
Thomas caught his only target for seven yards in Sunday's 46-23 loss to the Buccaneers.
Thomas saw fellow tight end Colin Thompson score to begin the game, and is now tied with Thompson with one touchdown this season. With just 12 grabs in total, Thomas clearly isn't involved enough in Carolina's passing game to justify fantasy ownership despite his starting role.
Thomas caught one of two targets for eight yards in Sunday's 33-31 loss to the Chiefs.
Thomas actually fumbled on his lone reception Sunday, but the ball fortunately went out of bounds to clear him of a potential turnover. Through nine games, Thomas sports merely 11 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, giving him minimal fantasy value.
Thomas caught all three of his targets for 28 yards in Thursday night's 25-17 loss to the Falcons.
Thomas set new season highs in catches and yards, and while that obviously marks encouraging progress, his overall totals still weren't enough to make much of a fantasy impact.
Thomas caught his only target for 11 yards in Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Saints.
Thomas' output from Sunday was right in line with his prior outings this season, as he's not yet topped two catches or 20 yards through any of Carolina's seven games. As a result, fantasy expectations for Thomas should remain low despite a favorable matchup against the Falcons in Week 8.
Thomas caught his only target for nine yards in Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Bears.
Thomas played nearly 70 percent of Carolina's offensive snaps but yet again made minimal impact from a receiving standpoint. Through six games, the tight end sports just six grabs for 39 yards and a touchdown, leaving him on the outskirts of fantasy relevancy.
Thomas failed to catch his only target in Sunday's 23-16 win over the Falcons.
Thomas featured for 65 percent of Carolina's offensive snaps, yet saw only one pass come his way. That low usage is nothing new for Thomas, however, as he's totaled just five catches on 10 targets for 30 yards and a touchdown through five weeks. Such a restricted role in the passing game gives Thomas minimal fantasy value.
Thomas caught two of five targets for five yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 31-21 win over the Cardinals.
Thomas has now managed merely 30 receiving yards through four games, but his touchdown from two yards Sunday at least offered a glimmer of hope. He actually saw fewer snaps Sunday than fellow tight end Chris Manhertz, who finished with one catch for 17 yards. With neither option being particularly productive, Carolina's starting tight-end role hasn't meant much in fantasy terms thus far.
Thomas caught one of two targets for nine yards in Sunday's 21-16 win over the Chargers.
Thomas was unsuccessfully targeted on Carolina's first offensive play, then hauled in his only other look shortly after committing a holding penalty in the second quarter. Through three games, the tight end has managed just three grabs for 25 yards despite his regular starting role, making for a disappointing fantasy return to date.
Thomas was not targeted in Sunday's 31-17 loss to the Buccaneers.
Thomas played over half of Carolina's offensive snaps, yet didn't see any of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's 42 passing attempts come his way. On a day Bridgewater finished with 367 passing yards, Thomas' complete lack of involvement comes as a concern. The tight end will be desperate to make a larger impact in Week 3 versus the Chargers, but Sunday's goose egg sets the bar incredibly low.
Thomas caught both of his targets for 16 total receiving yards in Sunday's 34-30 loss to the Raiders.
Thomas featured on two-thirds of Carolina's offensive snaps, but he hardly got involved in the team's passing game. With all but five targets going to D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel and Christian McCaffrey, Thomas' placement down the Panthers' pecking order was well illustrated. As the starting tight end, however, Thomas at least should see enough playing time to make a bigger impact in upcoming weeks.
Thomas (toe) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, Myles Simmons of the Panthers' official site reports.
Thomas suffered a toe injury just over a week ago, but he's already resumed operating at full capacity. He's set to serve as Carolina's top tight end during Sunday's season opener against the Raiders, though Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson will all likely rank ahead of Thomas in the pecking order in terms of targets.
|1||Sun 09/13||vs LV||L 30-34||2||16||8.0||11||0|
|2||Sun 09/20||@ TB||L 17-31||0||0||-||-||0|
|3||Sun 09/27||@ LAC||W 21-16||1||9||9.0||9||0|
|4||Sun 10/04||vs ARI||W 31-21||2||5||2.5||3||1|
|5||Sun 10/11||@ ATL||W 23-16||0||0||-||0||0|
|6||Sun 10/18||vs CHI||L 16-23||1||9||9.0||9||0|
|7||Sun 10/25||@ NO||L 24-27||1||11||11.0||11||0|
|8||Thu 10/29||vs ATL||L 17-25||3||28||9.3||21||0|
|9||Sun 11/08||@ KC||L 31-33||1||8||8.0||8||0|
|10||Sun 11/15||vs TB||L 23-46||1||7||7.0||7||0|
|11||Sun 11/22||vs DET||W 20-0||0||0||-||-||0|
|12||Sun 11/29||@ MIN||L 27-28||1||4||4.0||4||0|
|14||Sun 12/13||vs DEN||L 27-32||3||20||6.7||8||0|
|15||Sat 12/19||@ GB||L 16-24||3||29||9.7||15||0|
|16||Sun 12/27||@ WAS||W 20-13||0||0||-||-||0|
|17||Sun 01/03||vs NO||L 7-33||1||-1||-1.0||-1||0|
|Career Receiving Stats|
|Career Rushing Stats|