He’s not going to start that process from the first day.
The 31-year-old Thomas is coming off a torn Achilles last season. He was a low-risk addition for the Patriots (just $150,000 signing bonus on his one-year deal), so his place was never guaranteed.
Michel had his knee scoped this offseason, and was hoping to be ready to go from the beginning of camp, but that apparently won’t be the case. He quickly proved to be an important part of their offense last season, and all expectations are that he should be ready soon.