FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets shipped a 2021 sixth-round pick to New England two days after the season opener in exchange for a 2010 first-round receiver. Demaryius Thomas was that receiver, and he soon began to act like a captain with his new team.
“I tell myself I try to be a pro’s pro,” Thomas said after practice Friday. “…When I go on the field, I work hard. I do what I’m asked to do. Weight room, meeting room. If I have to speak up about some things, I will speak up to help the team and also help the guys.”
The other captains noticed. They wanted him to have their official title, too.
He followed up a six-catch, 84-yard effort in the 34-27 win over the Giants with four catches for 44 yards in last Sunday’s 34-17 win at Washington. That also marked his first game as Captain Thomas. He’s making an impact in more ways than one.
“A couple of our captains have either gone on IR or have been injured,” said coach Adam Gase, who was Thomas’ position coach for three seasons and offensive coordinator for two with Denver. “[The other captains] brought it up about bringing him in to our captains’ meeting.
“When Rontez [Miles] went on IR [Nov. 6], those guys kind of made that suggestion of, ‘I think we should make him a permanent captain.’ So that was an easy choice for me obviously being around him as long as I have, just knowing the kind of person he is.”
This is Thomas’ 10th season, including the first 8 1/2 with the Broncos. He owns one Super Bowl ring, four Pro Bowl selections, 717 receptions, 9,690 receiving yards and 62 touchdown catches. There’s much that he can pass on as a Jets captain.
“It means a lot,” Thomas said. “I try to take myself as a leader, as a captain. I’m going to try to help lead the team and teach them some of the stuff I learned in my career being around Tom [Brady], Peyton Manning, Brian Dawkins, Champ Bailey, just try to adapt it here.”
Denver traded him to Houston in October of 2018. He tore an Achilles in December. After moving on to the Patriots, he wasn’t fazed by being traded again.
“I just know it’s a business,” Thomas said. "I knew I was proud to have another opportunity to play ball. I had a job. I knew Adam. It’s a great locker room.”
Thomas has made 29 catches, for 360 yards. He felt like he finally got his explosiveness back two or three weeks ago. He’s listed as questionable for Sunday’s Oakland game with a hamstring issue but is expected to play.
He’s also set to turn 32 on Christmas. His wish is to return here in 2020.
“That ain’t my call,” Thomas said. “Just go out and work hard and see what happens at the end of the season.”
Extra points: Linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) is out. Linebacker Paul Worrilow (quad), cornerback Darryl Roberts (calf) and safety Matthias Farley (quad) are doubtful...Australian running back/receiver Valentine Holmes was released from the practice squad.