Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas injured his leg last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals and was carted off the field. Testing revealed Thomas had sustained another fracture to the leg he broke two seasons ago.
The safety was placed on the injured reserve, but until Sunday, there had been no word as to whether or not he would undergo surgery to speed up his recovery.
This week, Thomas will have a rod inserted into his leg, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who cites a source. “That increases the chance of healing and lowers refracture rates,” Rapoport tweet Sunday morning. “Thomas will be 100% long before free agency.”
With his contract expiring at the end of the season, most have speculated Thomas has played his last game in a Seahawks uniform. After holding out the entire offseason for a contract extension or a trade, Thomas reported to the team in time for Week 1 with no new deal in place.
Thomas flashed an obscene gesture towards the Seahawks sidelineas he was taken from the field last week. He was fined $13,369 by the league for the one-finger salute.
“It also appears as though Thomas’ time with the Seahawks is over,” writes ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “They won’t have to decide until after this season, but the Seahawks are not expected to use their franchise tag on Thomas this winter, allowing him to leave Seattle, league sources told ESPN.”
With no tag in place – projected to be valued at $11.85 million next year – Thomas will be a free agent and able to sign with any team of his choosing. Coming off a second leg injury in two seasons, Thomas will need to be healthy to command the money he believes he deserves.
The Seahawks have some time before they need to make this decision and for now, the focus remains on Thomas’ rehab and recovery.