Michael Thomas was signed off the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad, added to the Miami Dolphins' 53-man roster on Monday, activated for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots — his first NFL regular-season game — and thrown right into a playoff race.
All before he even figured out how to drive to Sun Life Stadium. Or even get home afterward.
"I have to follow someone home," Thomas said, via the Sun-Sentinal. "I need a GPS."
So despite Thomas not knowing his surroundings, his teammates (and many of them had no idea who he was, despite being on the same field Sunday) or the team's defensive calls, he was thrust into an incredible situation and stepped up in the biggest of ways. Thomas picked off Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the end zone on fourth down in the final seconds of the game in a 24-20 Dolphins victory.
Go ahead, send that script to Disney.
Head coach Joe Philbin admitted he had barely gotten to know Thomas. Mike Wallace called Thomas "Michael Jordan." Confusing the matter more: The Dolphins currently have three guys on their roster named Thomas.
"I didn't even know his first name," defensive lineman Jared Odrick said.
"We [the offensive linemen] were watching from the sideline asking who is No. 31?" offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie said.
Thomas might not have known much, but he knew this: Brady was sure to target the new guy.
"I knew being the new guy Tom Brady was going to come after me," Thomas said. "He's a great quarterback and he's going to see where the new guy is at and I had to be sure I was ready."
Thomas was. He only was playing late in the game because of injuries to Nolan Carroll and Brent Grimes in the game, making Thomas the nickel back — the position he played at Stanford — in his first NFL action. He stepped in front of Austin Collie in the end zone on the fourth-down pass and picked off Brady for Thomas' first NFL interception.
Amazing. Brady was so upset, he walked away from the postgame interview session after only two questions.
But Thomas was more than happy to talk to the media afterwards.
"I will remember this one for life," Thomas said.
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