For a minute, it looked like an inevitability that Earl Thomas would begin the next chapter of his NFL career with the Houston Texans. The All-Pro safety was set to visit the team and go through a workout this week while a deal was reportedly “more likely than not” once Thomas passed his COVID-19 protocols. However, things have changed rather quickly in this potential marriage between Houston and Thomas. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans will not be signing the 31-year-old safety.
This comes after Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported that the Texans sent Thomas home prior to his scheduled workout with the club. One would naturally think that this was in relation to the uptick in COVID-19 cases hitting the Tennessee Titans organization which forced a shutdown of the facility until further notice while possibly putting their Week 4 contest in jeopardy. The NFL released a memo to clubs on Tuesday afternoon reemphasizing how diligent each team must be to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and suggested revisiting the steps each team takes when bringing in players for workouts.
While that seemed to be a reason why Thomas’ workout was postponed, Dianna Russini of ESPN reports that the Texans’ decision to not sign him was not COVID-19 related. Houston originally planned to work out five safeties (including Thomas), per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, but those sessions have now been moved. In Thomas’ case, it has seemingly been postponed permanently with the Texans now focusing on their Week 4 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
And now, Thomas, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens prior to the start of the season due to issues inside the team’s locker room, will have to continue to wait before making his NFL return.