The Denver Broncos are hurting at wide receiver, but they knew that Demaryius Thomas would be out for the first several weeks of the season. While Thomas returned to practice earlier than expected, he was going to take it slow in coming back. As it turned out, recovering from his torn Achilles wasn't the only thing holding him back. He broke his pinky finger during practice during the first week of the regular season.
He will miss at least the next two weeks, tweets Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post, following Wednesday surgery on his finger. While the Broncos shouldn't rush him back into action, Thomas needs to show that he isn't another wasted draft pick by Josh McDaniels. And with Eddie Royal continually injury-prone, Thomas would certainly become more involved in the offense. Yet, Thomas would also need to overcome Eric Decker, and by the time Thomas is ready to step on the field it may be too late for him to do anything significant this season.
Thomas' return to the practice field, however, became a certain thing over the weekend when the team decided to keep him on their active roster. It's highly unlikely that he'll be active on Monday, Sept. 12 when the Broncos take on the Oakland Raiders to open the season, but his 2011 season is sure to begin earlier than the end of October or the start of November.
Thomas currently sits third on the depth chart behind Brandon Lloyd and Matthew Willis (Eddie Royal and Eric Decker play on the opposite side). Thomas had a rough rookie season due to injury, catching 22 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns. If he has made a full recovery, Thomas should certainly move ahead of Willis and possibly even Decker on the depth chart.
According to his Twitter page, Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomasis having surgery on his torn Achilles tendon this Monday morning. He is expected to take six to eight months to fully recover from this injury that was sustained while doing an offseason workout in Atlanta, Ga.
If the 2011 NFL season does take place, Thomas could start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. Should he remain on that list to start the regular season, Thomas would be unable to return to the team until after the sixth game of the season. The team then has three-weeks to determine if he can be active or if he should be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Thomas missed the beginning of the NFL season due to chronic foot and ankle problems, and was considered a risky selection by many due to his long history of injury troubles. Many were surprised when Thomas was selected ahead of former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, widely considered the best WR talent available in the 2010 Draft.
When he was on the field, Thomas showed flashes of talent. In his first NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thomas caught eight passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. For the season, he played in ten games but only started two of them.
Thomas is expected to miss between six and eight months while recovering from injury.