Has Mike Thomas taken himself out of the race to solidify a spot in the Rams’ offense?
Los Angeles Rams receiver Mike Thomas has been dealt a huge blow, and it’s one that could affect his future with the team.
Thomas was delivered a 4-game suspension from the league for violating the performance-enhancement policy. At this time, we don’t know what Thomas tested positive for, or if this was something a trainer was giving him. All we know is, the ripple effects of his off-season progress have been halted.
Now, the pressure is on to make sure his name is cemented in the coaches’ minds as we move closer to training camp. Thomas is a second-year receiver who played quite a bit last season. He also dropped the ball quite a bit whenever he was lined up at receiver. He also made costly mistakes as a returned on special teams.
Either the front office believes in what they saw on draft day last year, or his performance slipped under the radar during the regime change. Regardless, Thomas may have squandered his second-chance with the team before it truly started.
As of now, Thomas will move forward as a piece of the Rams very crowded receiving corps. Fortunately for him, Thomas will be among a group that would be considered mediocre at-best. The receivers were just one layer of the very bland offense from 2016. The passing attack ranked near dead-last. The offense as a whole?
The very bottom of the league.
According to the Rams site, they have 11 receivers on the roster. At-most, a team will carry six receivers. But normally, they will carry five receivers. In the off-season, the Rams signed Robert Woods and extended Tavon Austin’s contract during last year’s season.
The Rams drafted two receivers, and have a few receivers from last year’s draft they would like to see play. Thomas’ room for error was slim. Now, it’s none.
Thomas will need to wow everyone in training camp if he is to see action in Los Angeles past Week Four. Before his suspension, it sounded like he was doing just that in the off-season workouts. During their OTA’s, Thomas was reportedly making a lot of deep catches, and sometimes reeling in passes under contest.
Before the off-season began, new head coach Sean McVay even said he saw Thomas as someone who could be an active downfield threat for the offense.
Jared Goff, the team’s franchise quarterback, said he was impressed by Thomas’ progress. He even said Thomas has found a role on the offense, of stretching defenses and making the over-the-top catches. It’s a role he was no stranger to during his time at Southern Miss. Thomas was often making incredible catches under pressure in college.
But with the latest suspension, Thomas has taken a few steps back from a pack.