De’Anthony Thomas could provide veteran help in a pinch for Chiefs

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas /

The Kansas City Chiefs could re-sign a familiar face if work on Tyreek Hill comes back with some bad news on a suspension.

For the last five years, De’Anthony Thomas has been a special teams ace and offensive weapon for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs selected DAT in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and while he never rose to the sort of dynamic weapon status that some envisioned for him, he was most certainly a valuable and versatile member of Andy Reid’s roster.

This offseason, the Chiefs allowed Thomas to hit free agency without any corresponding interest on their part in bringing him back—at least not yet. Last offseason, the Chiefs let Thomas flirt with the open market but they quickly brought him back in mid-March on a one-year deal worth $880K after his rookie deal expired. This year, Thomas is playing a waiting game as teams look for signs that he’s healthy once again.

Thomas has suffered two consecutive leg fractures in 2017-18 that kept him off the field for the majority of last season. In only five games, Thomas caught 3 passes for 29 yards and rushed 1 time for 6 yards. He’s only played in all 16 games in a given season once and even then he failed to eclipse even 200 yards from scrimmage. He’s going to have to show he’s healthy and in game shape to get a second chance from anyone, and that move likely won’t come until training camp—if it comes at all.

But the Chiefs are in an odd position this offseason with the potential of a suspension for Tyreek Hill. The team’s most dynamic offensive weapon could be gone for multiple weeks, perhaps as many as eight. It’s also possible a full season is taken away from Hill, although that’s looking increasingly rare. With any time lost, however, the Chiefs will be hurting at wide receiver even as they lean heavily on Mecole Hardman, their second round pick.

Let’s say the Chiefs are forced to suit up without Hill for at least a couple games. Is it a stretch to think that Hill could be replaced by Thomas during those games? Hardman would step into any role as wideout or returner in place of Hill, but his roster spot could easily fall to a player like DAT. He’s a veteran who knows the team, knows the offense, and he has been praised for his special teams acumen in years past.

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Every year the Chiefs seem to have a guy who hits the active roster a few times as injuries or needs arise. C.J. Spiller has played that role in the past. Akeem Hunt has done the same. Thomas makes plenty of sense here if the Chiefs need to bring in an outsider to fill a spot on a temporary basis .