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Injured Ole Miss player Thomas visits practice

Just two days after he had to be airlifted to a Memphis hospital, Ole Miss freshman tight end DaMarcus Thomas was back with his teammates at practice.

Thomas attended practice Wednesday, after suffering an injury at Monday’s practice that caused him to lose feeling and movement in his body. He reportedly had regained some feeling and movement by the time he was transported via helicopter to a Memphis hospital and was released that night.

Thomas only visited with his teammates Wednesday and did not participate in practice. It is unclear when he will return to action on the field. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin said Thomas will have to clear concussion protocol before returning. Thomas, a freshman from Whatley, Ala., has appeared in five of the Rebels’ six games this season.

Kiffin, who was visibly shaken by the injury sustained by one of his young players, said he was relieved to see Thomas walk back into the Manning Center and rejoin the team.

“I talked to him before practice. He was out there, which was awesome,” Kiffin said. “I just did the SEC call and it’s a classic, you don’t appreciate things until they’re taken away. Like a lost wallet or cell phone, you lose one and get it back and you’re right back where you started, but you have this great feeling. That’s what it was like. That was a scary deal to watch. If you haven’t ever seen something like that, you can’t understand it. An 18-, 19-year-old kid lying there and can’t feel anything is pretty scary.”

The Rebels halted practice immediately after Thomas’ injury on Monday and did not resume. They had Tuesday off for Election Day, and then returned to the field Wednesday as their open week on the schedule continued. Ole Miss’ next game is Nov. 14 at home against South Carolina.

Kiffin said there was not any one particular point of emphasis during this week’s workouts, other than to “get better.”

“Just trying to work on things that we can get better at,” Kiffin said. “Taking care of the ball, getting more turnovers on defense, playing better defense, running the ball more consistently has kind of been the motto for the week. Just have to keep working.”