Logan Thomas' Loss a (Temporary?) Setback
The Washington Football Team suffered a minor setback on Wednesday when presumed starting tight end Logan Thomas was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Thomas should recover and return to the practice field before the end of training camp, if, of course, there are no complications. It’s not known if Thomas tested positive for COVID-19, or someone he had close contact with, such as a family member.
But while this is undoubtedly a setback for tight end-starved Washington, it is an even more significant setback for Thomas.
A former star quarterback at Virginia Tech, Thomas broke numerous school passing records. He was often underappreciated during his time in Blacksburg because he didn’t always have a ton of help.
In 2014, Thomas was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Why the Cardinals? Their head coach at the time — Bruce Arians — was also a former quarterback at Virginia Tech and he believed in Thomas.
Thomas spent just over one year in Arizona before he was released. From there, he would spend time with Miami and the New York Giants in 2015 and 2016.
In 2016, the Detroit Lions took a chance on Thomas; however, it would be as a tight end — not a quarterback.
He spent just two days on Detroit’s practice squad before Buffalo signed him to its active roster in 2017. Thomas played in 12 games in both 2017 and 2018 for the Bills. Then, he signed a one-year deal to return to Detroit in 2019.
He started all 16 games for Detroit at tight end in 2019.
In March of this year, Thomas signed a two-year deal with the Washington Football Team. The expectation was Thomas would either start at tight end or, at the very least, compete to start.
On Wednesday, his hopes of becoming Washington’s starter took a bit of a hit.
Thomas didn’t sign for massive money as Austin Hooper did with Cleveland in the offseason. If players like Richard Rodgers, Hale Hentges, or Jeremy Sprinkle show promise in training camp, there’s a chance Thomas becomes a rotational player once again.
That’s unfortunate. This was his opportunity.
What some may not know about Thomas is that he was a four-star recruit back in 2009. As a tight end. However, Virginia Tech needed a quarterback behind Tyrod Taylor, so Thomas became his backup. Once Taylor graduated after the 2010 season, the job suddenly belonged to Thomas.
Thomas was good. He won big games. He carried Virginia Tech’s running game at times and he took a ton of hits. He never complained. He was the consummate leader.
But what if Thomas had been allowed to play tight end? Virginia Tech’s failure to line up an adequate replacement for Taylor cost the Hokies a chance at a really special tight end.
And, it cost Thomas a chance at becoming a high-draft choice at tight end.
Players like Thomas don’t just switch positions three years into their NFL career and become starting players. Thomas did. And it’s not his athleticism that earns him praise, it is his physicality.
Remember the hit on Ryan Kerrigan when Washington played Detroit in 2019?
Thomas will never be a star in the NFL, but he has a chance to be a dependable starter for the remainder of his career. At 29, Thomas is still young enough to have his best football ahead of him.
While his placement on the COVID-19 list was a setback, perhaps it proves to be a mere roadblock on his way to becoming Washington’s No. 1 tight end.
Bryan Manning writes about the Washington Football Team for 'Washington Football' and contributes to "All Hokies" on SI.com. He has covered the NFL, MLB, NBA, college football and college basketball for almost 10 years for various outlets such as Bleacher Report, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today SMG, and others. For his day job, Bryan works in engineering for a major communications company.