Thomas Sanders was one of those rare Central Texas/ hill country kids who made it big to the NFL during the 80s. Although he toiled behind mamoths such as Walter Peyton and Neal Anderson during his time with the Bears, surviving numerous challenges to his spot on the roster, he managed to put in 5 seasons with Chicago, and then tacked on 2 more with the Eagles for good measure, at the end of his career.
Thomas played for the Texas Aggies from 1980- 1984. He had his best season in his Senior year of ’84, posting 167 carries for 738 yards and a TD, to go along with 16 caches for 89 yards. Sanders parlayed his performance into a 9th round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1985. The Bears, who were never short on RB help, decided to use Thomas as a kick returner, while he occasionally moonlighted at RB. He’d win the Super Bowl in his rookie season and be a part of the Super Bowl Shuffle squad. He started his only game of his career with the Bears in 1986, and finish the season with 27 carries for 224 yards and 5 TDs. Although he’d not see such gaudy yards per carry for the remainder of his career (8.3), Thomas had a career high 95 carries for 332 yards and 9 receptions in 1988. In 1989, Thomas scored his only TD on a kick return from 96 yards out.
Sanders joined the Eagles in 1990 after a short stint with the Chargers. He’d be an injury replacement for Robert Drummond. Thomas continued to churn up dependable yards for the Eagles, actually starting 3 games in 1991. Thomas retired after the season and now lives in Texas.
Sanders got really lucky and had some nice cards produced despite his limited playtime. The ProSet is a spectacular card, but when I pulled the Action Packed 1989 card of him, I knew I had to write him.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.