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Mike Thomas (running back)

Malcolm "Mike" Thomas (July 17, 1953 – August 23, 2019) was an American football player, a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for six seasons with the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers.

Mike Thomas
No. 22
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:(1953-07-17)July 17, 1953
Greenville, Texas
Died:August 23, 2019(2019-08-23) (aged 66)
Houston, Texas
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Greenville (Greenville, Texas)
College:Nevada - Las Vegas
NFL Draft:1975 / Round: 5 / Pick: 108
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:4,196
Player stats at

Early yearsEdit

Born in Greenville, Texas, Thomas graduated from Greenville High School in 1971 and played college football at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Nevada Las Vegas.[1] At the time, UNLV was a Division II program; it moved up to Division I-A in 1978.

Playing careerEdit

Thomas was selected in the fifth round of the 1975 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins. In his rookie season, he rushed for 919 yards and was named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year. The following season in 1976, Washington returned to the playoffs as the wild card team; Thomas ran for over 1,100 yards and went to the Pro Bowl.

In his fourth season in 1978 under first-year head coach Jack Pardee, the Redskins won their first six games. Thomas injured his ankle in that sixth game and sat out the next three games. Washington would lose eight of the last 10 games to finish the season 8–8 (.500) and miss the playoffs.

Thomas was traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1979.[1][2] After playing two seasons, he was waived by the Chargers in 1981.[3]


His older brothers Jimmy and Earl Thomas also played in the NFL.

Thomas died on August 23, 2019 at a hospital in Houston after a lengthy illness.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Thomas could see bad handwriting". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. Associated Press. August 30, 1979. p. 26.
  2. ^ "Thomas dealt to Chargers". Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. Associated Press. May 19, 1979. p. 6.
  3. ^ "Chargers cut Fuller and Thomas". Lodi News-Sentinel. California. UPI. September 2, 1981. p. 23.
  4. ^ Editor, David Claybourn | Herald-Banner Sports. "Local football legend Mike Thomas dead at 66". Herald-Banner. Retrieved 2019-08-27.

External linksEdit