Remember just a few weeks back when the Miami Dolphins took on the Carolina Panthers? Unfortunately, the Miami Dolphins lost the game after having the lead headed into halftime. The offense came out in the second half and failed to put a single point on the board.
One of the biggest headlines coming out of Miami after that game was the injury to running back Daniel Thomas. Thomas hurt his ankle early on in the game and was seen being carted off the field and back to the locker room. Speculation of Thomas’s injury quickly surfaced. One of the biggest reports was by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Initially, Rapoport said that Daniel Thomas was going to be sidelined for the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his ankle.
With the lack of production Miami was getting out of Thomas, mixed with the fact that he was entering a contract year in 2014, many were wondering whether or not he has played his final game in a Miami Dolphins uniform.
Well, clearly that has not been the case. To the surprise of many, Thomas showed up to Heinz Field on Sunday on the Dolphins active list. Not only was the activation and return of Thomas a surprise, but the way he played was just as unexpected.
Throughout the season, Thomas has underwhelmed tremendously. Prior to Sunday’s game, Thomas ran the ball 77 times for a total of 279 yards and three touchdowns. Over the course of the past few weeks something has changed in Daniel Thomas. On Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh, Thomas provided a huge spark for the Dolphins offense. He had his first 100 yard game of the season, while adding a touchdown.
There could be a couple of things that factored into Daniel Thomas finally having his breakout game. The first thing that came to my mind is the cliche, fight for your job phrase. As I said earlier, Thomas will be entering his contract year next season and has not played up to his draft stock. I’m sure he is well aware that his job might be on the line and in order to keep it he has to play the best football of his career.
The second thing is the improvement of the offensive line. Believe it or not, the whole Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito thing has been a blessing in disguise for the Dolphins. The pieces they have put in behind these guys have really performed well as of late. One of those players has been Sam Brenner. Brenner has bounced around the line the past few weeks, but has shined when his opportunities have been present.
To be honest, I don’t really care why Thomas had a huge game against the Steelers, all that matters to me is he did it. Whether it’s him knowing that he has to be better to keep his job or the fact that the line has improved as of late, Thomas has come back from this injury better than ever. Or maybe this whole thing is just a fluke. Hopefully it’s not. I guess we’ll just have to wait until the Patriots game on Sunday to find out.
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