Strong safety Phillip Thomas back on Day 2 of training camp. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Sidelined for the past two weeks because of a strained hamstring, second-year safety Phillip Thomas returned to practice on Thursday.

Thomas, who missed all of his rookie season because of a lisfranc injury that required surgery, aimed to make up for lost time this summer and work his way into the rotation at safety behind starters Brandon Meriweather and Ryan Clark.

Thomas had a strong offseason program, and a good first week of training camp. But then he strained his hamstring and missed 14 straight days of practice.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett both had stressed the importance of Thomas getting back on the field so the team could receive an accurate assessment of his capabilities. Thomas said he felt more self-applied pressure to return to action, however.

Washington’s players received Wednesday off and then returned on Thursday.

Thomas joined his teammates on the field and had a couple of bright spots, including a pass breakup for the second-team defense in the red zone during 11-on-11 action.

Asked about Thomas’s return, Gruden said, “I noticed he was on the field, which was good. I saw him on the field.”

The coach elaborated, “He made some plays. He looked like he was moving fine. I don’t think he had any recurring injury from it. That’s the first step is to make sure you go out there, practice and then if there’s no soreness, then we know we’re on the right track to getting him 100 percent. He’s got to continue getting treatment, make sure it’s getting stronger, but he did go out there today and looked like he was fine. I have to watch the tape, though.”

Meanwhile, tight end Jordan Reed also returned to practice after being sidelined by a stomach virus since Saturday. Reed watched practice on Tuesday and had finally started to be able to keep food down. He didn’t display any ill effects on Thursday, and remained on the field long after practice, getting in additional work.

Meriweather did not take part in team drills because of a toe injury. Bacarri Rambo played strong safety in place of Meriweather on the first team. Running back Chris Thompson continued to nurse a low ankle sprain, missing his fifth practice. Backup inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton (high ankle sprain) also missed practice.

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

The Redskins practiced this morning, and have another set for 8:35 a.m. on Friday.

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