Rivera said an MRI revealed Thomas did not tear his ACL, as originally feared, but his knee was damaged. Early reports indicated that Washington feared he had torn up both his ACL and his MCL. A ripped MCL would still require surgery and could rule it out for the rest of the season, barring a playoff run, according to a source.
Rivera said on a conference call that they were awaiting confirmation of the results and that he “didn’t want to get ahead” when saying how long Thomas would be out. Still, if further testing confirms there is no ACL tear, it allows Thomas to recover well before next season. It would be a great victory for him and the organization.
Washington has won four in a row and currently holds sixth place in the playoffs. Thomas has already missed six games this season with a hamstring injury, which has placed him in the injured reserve. If Washington put Thomas back on the injured list, he would have finished for the season.
The WFT could also choose to keep Thomas on the active roster, just in case he can return in four to six weeks for the playoffs. But it’s possible they might need that spot on the roster if more injuries occur.
Thomas was injured 10 minutes from time in Sunday’s 17-15 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders when defensive end Yannick Ngakoue broke down as Thomas shot from the opposite side to block him. Rivera said he wished Ngakoue had used his hands to fight Thomas rather than giving up.
“It’s an unfortunate game,” Rivera said. “I felt it was something that was preventable. “
Thomas was a key target for Washington, especially in the red zone, and had become a physical blocker. He captured a career-high 72 assists and six touchdowns last season, earning a three-year contract extension worth up to $ 24.05 million. In six games this season, Thomas has caught 18 assists, including three for scores. He’s led every tight end in the NFL since the start of last season with 151 yards in the red zone. At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, the former quarterback is a big target.
Washington should be helped this week with the expected return of tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, who has missed the last three games with a hip injury. He also has rookie John Bates, who has received praise for his particular blocking.
Rivera also said defensive end Montez Sweat, on the injury list with a jaw injury, may be allowed to return to training on Wednesday. At this point, Washington would have 21 days to activate it. Additionally, Rivera said he expects safety linebacker Landon Collins to return to practice on Wednesday. He did not play on Sunday due to a foot injury.