RB Daniel Thomas was back on the practice field for the Miami Dolphins Tuesday. Having missed the previous week of action due to his second concussion of the season, Thomas told The Miami Herald that he passed the cognitive tests required of NFL players who sustain a concussion in a game or practice.
Thomas also said he will wear an oversized helmet designed to limit brain trauma. Thomas sustained a concussion in the opening week of the season against the Houston Texans, then another in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He missed the next week of practice and game action following each concussion, with rookie Lamar Miller supplanting him in the running back rotation behind Reggie Bush.
The Herald asked Thomas if he is concerned about the long-term risks associated with multiple concussions, and he said he is not. "You've just got to keep playing," he added. "You can't worry about them. I'm not a doctor, so you've got to ask [them]."
While NFL rules prevents players from returning to a game or practice the same day after sustaining a concussion (and also requiring players to pass the aforementioned tests before playing at all following a concussion), there are no rules regarding the maximum number of concussions a player can sustain before being shut down for the remainder of a season or career.
The Dolphins had their worst rushing performance of the season on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, though that cannot be attributed to Thomas' absence. The Rams held Miami to just 19 yards rushing on 18 attempts.
While Thomas returned on Tuesday, the Dolphins have yet to get starting CB Richard Marshall back. Marshall injured his back in Week 2, but has missed the past two weeks due to lingering pain.
Marshall said to the Herald on Tuesday, "I couldn't continue to play through it, because I felt I wasn't able to do what I needed to do out there."
Saying the pain forced him to use crutches to move around a few weeks ago, Marshall and the Dolphins are hoping for a return by next week. The team is off this week with a bye.
The Dolphins have a lighter practice schedule for the bye week. The team will be off Thursday through Sunday, returning to work on Monday to prepare for their Oct. 28 game against the New York Jets.