After sitting out his rookie season for the Chicago Bears with a hip injury, J.T. Thomas is looking to see the field this season.
While Thomas is trying to get cleared of the drug possession charge, he is working behind Nick Roach as the Bears’ second team strongside linebacker. He is also working with four phases of special teams.
Last season, the Bears carried six linebackers on their 53-man roster. On their current preseason 90-man roster, the Bears have 11 linebackers. This season, the Bears could carry up to 7 LBs, but Thomas is working hard to assure a roster spot.
While Thomas is trying to work his way onto the roster, he is also trying to get his name cleared of a drug possession charge he got while in Morgantown in February. Thomas paid a fine and was ordered to complete Morgantown Area Youth Services Project classes. He, or someone on his behalf, can file a motion to dismiss the charges on August 29.
“Right now, (there are) still some ongoing things, legally,” Thomas said. “But it’s behind me. Right now, I’m just looking forward into the future. And hopefully, the picture can be even clearer as the future goes on. But other than that, things are going well with that, progressing right along.”
Could Thomas’ offseason arrest affect the Bears’ decision to keep him on the roster?
“I would hope not,” he said. “I think the organization knows who I am as a player and as a person, more than anything. Just good to still be around and to show what kind of person I really am. I believe everyone has a good idea of what kind of person I am.”
Thomas is not letting his off-the-field problems distract him on the practice field. He is very happy to be able to practice again.
“It’s just good to be back on the field at full speed, seeing things, getting reps,” Thomas said. “That’s the best experience. Being able to watch and being able to participate are two different things.”