Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas

Tight End #80
Ht / Wt:6'4" / 259 lb.
Born:June 6, 1996
Drafted:2018 / Rd. 4 (101)
Draft Team:CAR

Ian Thomas: Still not practicing

Thomas (leg) was limited to rehab work during mandatory minicamp, Joe Person of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Thomas rode a stationary bike on the sideline while watching his teammates practice. There hasn't been any suggestion of a serious injury, with coach Ron Rivera saying he's hopeful the second-year pro will be ready for training camp. Thomas averaged four catches for 37 yards on six targets in six starts last season, typically handling a three-down role when Greg Olsen wasn't available. The 34-year-old is healthy and now has clearance for all football activities, but his recent history of foot injuries hints that Thomas may be needed this season.

June 17, 2019 7:01 AM EST

Ian Thomas: Still limited

Thomas (leg) was limited to side work Tuesday at OTAs, Max Henson of the Panthers' official site reports.

Analysis: Despite bringing his helmet out to the field, Thomas still isn't ready to practice with teammates, nursing a leg injury that doesn't appear serious. The 2018 fourth-round pick will enter training camp second on the depth chart, but Greg Olsen's recent injury history suggests Thomas has a decent shot to make starts before the end of the season. He started six games as a rookie, averaging four catches for 37 yards on six targets (with one touchdown) in those contests.

May 28, 2019 6:33 AM EST

Ian Thomas: Rehabbing leg injury

Thomas was off to the side of Wednesday's workouts as he rehabbed a sore leg, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports.

Analysis: The injury doesn't appear to be serious for the tight end, who was working on the bike but wasn't wearing a brace or boot. With the season still months away, it's not surprising that the Panthers are taking a cautious approach to the injury as the team seeks to avoid making things worse by rushing a return. Thomas caught 25 of 32 targets over the final five games of last season for 246 yards and two touchdowns, but will have a tough time replicating those results with the return of Greg Olsen from a foot injury.

May 22, 2019 8:21 AM EST

Ian Thomas: Ends season strong

Thomas finished the 2018 regular season with 36 catches on 49 targets for 333 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games played.

Analysis: Thomas' production was directly related to former Pro Bowler Greg Olsen's health, as he managed just eight receptions in the nine games Olsen played. However, when Olsen was sidelined with recurring foot issues, Thomas capitalized on his increased opportunity, particularly at the end of his rookie campaign. In Carolina's final four games, the fourth-rounder hauled in 20 of 27 targets for 200 yards and two touchdowns, topping 60 yards in two of those outings. While Cam Newton (shoulder) wasn't under center for the Panthers' last two tilts, and Olsen figures to be back next season, Thomas' strong close not only makes him an attractive insurance policy, but also someone who should garner looks of his own alongside Olsen in 2019.

January 9, 2019 6:08 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Scores first career touchdown

Thomas caught four of five targets for 48 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Falcons

Analysis: Thomas got off to a promising start by capping off the opening drive of the game with a one-yard touchdowns catch, which was the first of his career. He also finished third on the team in receiving yardage while posting his second-best total of the season in that category, though his contribution was still rather modest. Thomas appears to already have a rapport with Taylor Heinicke, but he's far from a lock to put on a repeat performance in next Sunday's season finale against the Saints.

December 23, 2018 3:16 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Hauls in two passes

Thomas caught two of four targets for 14 yards in Monday night's 12-9 loss to the Saints.

Analysis: Thomas trailed only Christian McCaffrey in looks from Cam Newton, but considering the quarterback threw for a season-low 131 yards, there wasn't much production to go around. That unfortunately brought Thomas back to earth following a career-best nine catches for 77 yards the week prior. While he'll aim for improvement in Week 16 versus the Falcons, the health of Newton's shoulder could be important to monitor when setting expectations of Thomas. On the bright side, without Greg Olsen (foot) available anymore, the rookie remains Carolina's top option at tight end.

December 17, 2018 9:39 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Thrives in second stint as starter

Thomas caught nine of 11 targets for 77 yards in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Browns.

Analysis: Thomas struggled earlier this season when Greg Olsen was out with a foot injury, but the rookie tight end looked much more comfortable taking over as the starter this time around. He led the Panthers in targets and catches while coming up only three receiving yards short of Curtis Samuel's team-leading total. With Olsen on injured reserve, Thomas will be a popular waiver wire add ahead of a Week 15 matchup with a Saints team that just gave up two touchdowns to Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate.

December 9, 2018 2:41 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Stepping in for injured Olsen

Thomas is primed for a key role with teammate Greg Olsen (foot) out for the season, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports.

Analysis: Thomas was unable to capitalize on Olsen's absence the first time around, catching eight of 14 targets for 68 yards in three games (Weeks 2-5) while averaging 54.7 snaps per contest. However, the rookie fourth-round pick looked much better in Sunday's 24-17 loss to Tampa Bay, catching each of his five targets for 46 yards after hauling in just one pass over the previous seven weeks. Thomas will kick off his second run in the starting role with a favorable Week 14 matchup at Cleveland, facing a defense that's given up the most catches (75) and targets (111) to tight ends, albeit with a mark of just 6.5 yards per target.

December 5, 2018 10:20 AM EST

Ian Thomas: Emerges to make five catches

Thomas caught all five of his targets for 46 yards during Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Buccaneers.

Analysis: Thomas hadn't caught a pass in four games, but he was thrust into a larger role after Greg Olsen left with a foot injury. He finished third on the team in receiving yards, displaying a solid rapport with Cam Newton on short pass routes. Olsen's injury will likely end his season, reinserting Thomas as the team's top tight end down the stretch. He'll hope to improve upon his production from earlier this year and should enjoy a boost in fantasy value next Sunday against the Browns.

December 2, 2018 2:50 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Catches pass versus Ravens

Thomas caught his only target for 15 yards in Sunday's 36-21 win over the Ravens.

Analysis: Thomas played eight offensive snaps working behind Greg Olsen at tight end. Although that role hasn't proven conducive to much production at all, he at least caught his lone look in Week 8.

October 29, 2018 4:09 PM EST

Ian Thomas: No offensive snaps

Thomas did not play a snap on offense in Sunday's 21-17 win over the Eagles.

Analysis: Thomas has been relegated to special teams duty in light of Greg Olsen returning from injury to claim his every-down role at tight end.

October 22, 2018 4:54 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Plays one offensive snap

Thomas played just one offensive snap in Sunday's 23-17 loss to the Redskins.

Analysis: Thomas' playing time was slashed due to the return of fellow tight end Greg Olsen. After being sidelined since Week 1, the former Pro Bowler immediately played all but one offensive snap. Unless Olsen re-aggravates the ailment again, Thomas figures to find himself in a more suitable, low-usage role as his rookie season unfolds.

October 15, 2018 4:14 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Totals 38 receiving yards versus Giants

Thomas caught three of six targets for 38 yards during Sunday's 33-31 win over the Giants.

Analysis: Thomas tied for second on the team in targets, but he did't make much of an impact outside of a 27-yard gain in the second quarter. While this effort was modest at best for Thomas, he notched a new career high in yardage and has now improved in that category with each passing week of the season. Thomas could put up useful numbers if he ever takes full advantage of his newfound role in the offense, with his next chance to step up coming Sunday against the Redskins.

October 7, 2018 3:29 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Involvement slowly growing

Thomas caught three of five targets for 20 yards in Sunday's 31-21 win over the Bengals.

Analysis: Thomas mustered only 10 receiving yards as the starter in Week 2, so the rookie tight end's role is slowly growing. He should continue to start while Greg Olsen (foot) sits for at least a few more weeks, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Thomas' role expand a bit after next week's bye.

September 23, 2018 3:19 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Catches two passes

Thomas caught two of three targets for 10 yards in Sunday's 31-24 loss to the Falcons.

Analysis: Thomas played all but three offensive snaps in the wake of Greg Olsen (foot) going down in Week 1. While that heightened involvement is really encouraging for Thomas, the rookie fourth-rounder's sparse utilization in the passing game shows he still has some way to go in establishing a trusted rapport with quarterback Cam Newton. Fortunately for him, he figures to continue to get the necessary playing time, making his development worthwhile to monitor in the coming weeks.

September 17, 2018 5:12 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Expected to replace Olsen

Thomas is likely to serve as the Panthers' primary tight end with Greg Olsen (foot) expected to be sidelined for at least a month, David Newton of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Chris Manhertz also lingers as an experienced reserve option at tight end and the Panthers will most likely add depth to the position group via signing or trade, but Thomas, a rookie fourth-round pick from Indiana, should get the first crack at replacing Olsen thanks to the upside he offers as a pass catcher. Though the 22-year-old was considered raw heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, he offers brings quality athleticism to the position and already drew a couple looks from quarterback Cam Newton in the season-opening win over the Cowboys, corralling both of his targets and gaining four yards. Head coach Ron Rivera seemed confident Monday in Thomas' ability to fill in for Olsen, stating that the rookie "has been prepared for this moment" while praising his development as a blocker and route runner, according to Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer.

September 11, 2018 11:30 AM EST

Ian Thomas: Makes two catches in debut

Thomas caught both his targets for four yards during Sunday's 16-8 win over the Cowboys.

Analysis: Thomas made a seven-yard catch before losing three yards on the only other pass thrown his way. Despite his modest NFL debut, he could be in for an increase in usage after teammate Greg Olsen (foot) left the game with an injury. The severity of the issue will become more clear over the next couple of days, but Thomas would profile as the main beneficiary if Olsen misses any time. His next chance to contribute will come next week against the Falcons.

September 9, 2018 6:07 PM EST

Ian Thomas: Catches touchdown pass from Newton

Thomas hauled in both of his targets for 35 yards and a touchdown in Friday's preseason game against Miami.

Analysis: The Panthers opened the game with two tight ends on the field, starting both Thomas and Greg Olsen. The rookie took a short throw from Cam Newton for a 27 yard-touchdown in the second quarter, then caught another pass from Taylor Heinicke in the third quarter. With Chris Manhertz (foot) still on the PUP list, Thomas seems to be on track for the No. 2 tight end job. It's a role that probably won't entail more than two or three targets per week, but there is potential for useful fantasy production if Olsen misses any time.

August 18, 2018 8:28 AM EST

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