- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Phillip Thomas played just five snaps on defense Sunday in the Washington Redskins‘ loss at Minnesota, but the strong safety considered it a successful debut.

“It’s just been a long time coming,” Thomas said. “I guess they wanted to make sure I was 100 percent ready after what happened in the preseason. It took a lot of time, but I’m finally healthy and I’m ready to get it rolling.”

Thomas, a fourth-round pick out of Fresno State in 2013, figured his first appearance in a regular-season game would have happened 14 months ago. But Thomas sustained a Lisfranc sprain, which is a tear of any number of ligaments that connect the metatarsals to the base of the foot, in the preseason opener that August and was soon placed on injured reserve.

Limited at times during training camp by a strained hamstring, Thomas played in preseason games against Cleveland and Baltimore, but then was beset by another injury in the same foot. On Tuesday, Thomas said for the first time that he broke a bone in that foot, which was a large part of the reason why the Redskins left him off their initial 53-man roster and signed him to their practice squad a day later.

Able to complete a full practice for the first time in the week leading up to the Redskins‘ game against the New York Giants on Sept. 25, Thomas spent four weeks on the practice squad. He was then told before the game at Dallas on Oct. 27 that he’d be signed to the active roster, but that plan was pushed back nearly a week until he was offered a contract on Saturday.

Thomas played only in the second half and was part of the kickoff return and punt coverage units. Eventually, he expects, he’ll begin seeing snaps on defense.

“It was nice to be back up, back ready, and [the coaches] feel confident in me moving forward,” Thomas said. “I feel like eventually, throughout the season, I’ll start getting snaps. I just need to prove myself more and more each day in practice.”

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