Poached off the 49ers practice squad earlier this week, safety Michael Thomas saw his first NFL action Sunday, making two key defensive plays in the closing seconds of the game to seal Miami's 24-20 win over New England.
Playing nickel cornerback, Thomas deflected a potential Tom Brady 19-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola on first down then intercepted Brady's deep throw down the middle to Austin Collie on fourth down to stop the Patriots nine play, 76-yard drive, ending their chance for a fourth comeback victory.
Thomas finished with three tackles, two passes defensed and a pick and said afterward:
After everything I've been through I feel very blessed."
The Dolphins just signed Thomas, 24, on Tuesday from the 49ers practice squad where he'd been since 2012 when he signed with them as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford.
San Francisco's defensive coordinator Vic Fangio - who coached him in college and the pros - spoke about Thomas at a Dec. 12 press conference:
I think Mike was really making strides here. We talked about getting him up on the active roster here for about the last month or so. Never panned out. So, he got a great opportunity to go down there and finish the season with Miami. He'll get an accredited pension here off of that, which doesn't mean much to anybody right now. But, in the future he’ll be glad he did that. I hope nothing but the best for Mike and like to see him succeed.”
Sunday's win keeps the Dolphins (8-6) in control of an AFC wild card playoff spot.