Chiefs

Chiefs rookie De’Anthony Thomas has avoided big hits

Kansas City Chiefs running back De’Anthony Thomas (1) was wrapped up by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford (55) on Saturday morning during Kansas City Chiefs summer training camp practice at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo. Thomas has been able to avoid big hits so far in camp.
Kansas City Chiefs running back De’Anthony Thomas (1) was wrapped up by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford (55) on Saturday morning during Kansas City Chiefs summer training camp practice at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo. Thomas has been able to avoid big hits so far in camp. The Kansas City Star

Size and durability are concerns related to De’Anthony Thomas, but he’s had a stellar camp so far — injury-free and able to avoid any big licks.

During gunner drills Saturday at practice, fellow rookie running back Charcandrick West de-cleated Thomas when he tried to block him during one-on-one work.

On snaps from scrimmage, it’s been much tougher for teammates to corral Thomas, who has shown a knack for making guys miss and avoiding hard hits from defenders.

When he receives the ball in the backfield, Thomas primarily has been utilized on plays toward the boundary, including zone-read handoffs or swing passes into the flats.

From the slot, Thomas has worked some over the middle and said he doesn’t have his head on a swivel in traffic — not even with tackling machine Derrick Johnson lurking many plays.

“They always talk about my size, but I feel like I have a big heart, and I’m not scared of anybody,” Thomas said.

Thomas also has received extensive work as a punt and kickoff returner. It’s a lot for him to absorb, but he’s happy with the workload.

“I’ve had to catch up a lot and I’m still catching up, but I’m just going out there and doing whatever I can to help this team,” Thomas said.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @todpalmer.

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