49ers player to watch vs. Texans No. 3: Cornerback Ambry Thomas
Some players to watch on Thursday are risers, such as Jordan Mason.
Others, however, are trending in the opposite direction.
This would describe second-year cornerback Ambry Thomas, who has struggled thus far in both training camp and Week 1 of the preseason and even missed the Vikings game while dealing with an injury.
For a player who at least finished 2021 on a relatively strong note, it’s been a disappointing development.
It’s likely Thomas is already losing the depth-chart battle with fellow second-year corner Deommodore Lenoir, who has taken the opposite trajectory heading towards Week 1. And, as our friend Jose Luis Sanchez III at Sports Illustrated pointed out, Thomas merely being healthy enough to play is going to be vital for his own roster chances:
"He needs that game to just showcase something, literally anything to convince Shanahan to keep him aboard. It didn’t sound like Shanahan wants Thomas to miss the cuts, but that his health (and also lackluster performances) is forcing his hand."
It’s possible the 49ers consider stashing Thomas on an injury list of some kind, perhaps using a waived/injured designation so they wouldn’t have to place him on the 53-man roster initially only to then transfer him to injured reserve.
This would risk Thomas being claimed by another team, though, yet that might be a risk the Niners are willing to take.
Unless he plays (well) against Houston.