Chiefs’ De’Anthony Thomas deflects questions on past season, focused on 2016

Nov. 1, 2015; London; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas (13) crosses the goal line for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Nov. 1, 2015; London; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas (13) crosses the goal line for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas on Wednesday met with the Chiefs media for the first time since the latter stages of the 2015 season.

But unsolved mystery remains surrounding what occurred between the periods when the Chiefs placed Thomas on the non-football illness list on Dec. 31 to when he reported for the voluntary offseason workout program in April.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Thomas took six straight questions focused on that period and the concussion he suffered on Nov. 22.

The third-year pro, however, politely declined to address them, invoking the use of “new year” in at least three separate responses, and preferred to put the attention on the upcoming season.

“It’s a new year,” Thomas said. “I don’t even know what happened, just focused on this 2016 year and like I said showing my ability that I can play in this league and I can compete at this level.”

Thomas originally suffered a concussion in Week 11 and missed four straight games from Weeks 12-15. He sat out the Week 16 game with what the Chiefs categorized as a “personal issue” before landing on the NFI list for the season finale.

That is where the confusion began.

Thomas took to Twitter on Jan. 20 and tweeted in all caps, “still trying to recover from my concussion.” But Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said on Jan. 21 that Thomas had passed the concussion protocol for the regular-season finale.

So, was there a misunderstanding on how the Chiefs viewed his status and how Thomas saw things?

“Like I said, I don’t want to go back to that time,” Thomas said, “and it’s all about focusing on these OTAs and going out there and competing and working hard.”

Thomas finished the 2015 season appearing in 10 games with one start, producing 140 yards receiving and a touchdown on 17 catches. He added 34 yards rushing and a touchdown on nine carries.

On special teams, Thomas had 227 punt return yards on 29 attempts and 138 kickoff return yards on six attempts.

Thomas said he still loves the game of football and the sport “is everything to him,” adding his current health is “excellent.”

While the answer surrounding the circumstances on what landed Thomas on the NFL list is unknown, he dealt with that period of adversity and believes his past work speaks for itself to coaches and the league.

“I feel like I have nothing to prove, really,” Thomas said. “Like I said, do what I’ve been doing, just working hard going out there showing what I can do and just contributing in all fields, whether it’s special teams, offense, anywhere.”


Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for The Topeka Capital-Journal and Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.


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