projects as an inside linebacker in San Diego's 3-4 defense, but there's no chance he sees any playing time on defense this postseason. The Chargers are already deep at inside 'backer with Stephen Cooper
, Kevin Burnett
, Brandon Siler
and Tim Dobbins
, leaving Thomas to pursue kick returners.
Thomas is no stranger to making an impact on the game's third phase, which the former second-rounder did often during his time in Minnesota. For more on Thomas' stint with the Vikings, we turn things over the Viking Update
publisher Tim Yotter.
Thomas was known for his speed coming out of Auburn and had the nickname "Reindeer" because of his running style. He has good sideline-to-sideline speed, but he was probably held back from a long-term starting job at linebacker because he seemed to lack the sudden burst and aggressive attitude. His longer range speed translates better on special teams, where he had 41 tackles in a three-year span for the Vikings.
In his first three seasons with the Vikings (2004-2006), he played in 46 games and made 10 starts.
Thomas rejoined the Vikings last year when starting middle linebacker E.J. Henderson was lost for the season with dislocated toes, but Thomas was used mainly on special teams, as Napoleon Harris eventually took over at MLB on defense.
During his four-plus years with the Vikings, Thomas' main role turned out to be special-teams coverage and he was usually one of the top tacklers in that area.
He is an intelligent man, named the inaugural winner of the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in the SEC and a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll recipient. He was one of eight NCAA Division I athletes to earn an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship by the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
What are Chargers fans saying about Thomas? Find out in the message boards.
After placing James Holt on IR, the Chargers moved quickly to fill their special-teams void by picking up Dontarrious Thomas. But is the former Viking up to the task? To find out, we check in with Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter for a complete scouting report on the Chargers' latest addition.
Dontarrious Thomas takes down Kris Wilson. (Getty)