The Texans announced Tuesday afternoon that they released the veteran receiver. NFL Network's James Palmer reported earlier in the day that Thomas' release was expected before the end of business.
Houston shipped a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft to the Denver Broncos ahead of the October trade deadline for Thomas. The teams also swapped seventh-round picks.
Thomas blew out his left Achilles tendon in Week 16 after catching a receiver screen.
Palmer notes that it remains too early for a timetable on the receiver's recovery, but Thomas has bounced back quickly in the past. The wideout tore his right Achilles after his rookie season and returned just six months later.
Now 31 years old, the recovery might be more grueling.
Thomas was due $14 million in the final year of his contract, a threshold too high for Houston to pay for an aging receiver coming off a lower-leg injury.
For Houston, a fourth-round pick for seven games and 39.2 yards per tilt seems like a lot. At the time of the swap, however, the Texans needed aid for their division title push, so it's hard to hammer the logic.
It wouldn't be out of the question that Houston could try to re-sign Thomas on a cheaper deal later. First, however, the receiver must get healthy.