Solomon Thomas “ahead of the curve” in recovering from torn ACL

Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas missed nearly all of last season after tearing his ACL in Week Two. But he has a chance to be a major contributor once again in the coming year.

The Raiders signed Thomas to a one-year deal in March, with the hope that the former No. 3 overall pick can help solidify the interior of the club’s defensive line.

While Thomas was working on the side during the portion of Las Vegas’ Wednesday practice open to the media, he’s enjoying just being around the team for the offseason program.

“I missed football,” Thomas said, via Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Last season, I had to spend the whole season on a couch. I had fun watching, but I missed the game. … So now just being able to come to practice and be in the locker room gives me energy.”

The defensive tackle has 6.0 career sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and 23 quarterback hits. Though he also had to undergo an ankle procedure in December, Thomas says he is ahead of schedule.

“It’s been a long journey,” Thomas said. “It was a mental struggle for sure. Anytime I looked too far forward, I would get stressed, I would get frustrated. But I had a great treatment team, and when I could take it day by day and just put in the work, we got better and better every day and we’re ahead of the curve.”