Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas will reportedly undergo surgery this week to have a rod inserted into his fractured left leg.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the procedure "increases the chance of healing and lowers refracture rates." It will also ensure Thomas is back at full strength "long before free agency."
Thomas suffered the injury in the Seahawks' 20-17 Week 4 win over the Arizona Cardinals. As he was carted off the field, the 29-year-old gestured toward Seattle's sideline with his middle finger.
Thomas held out through the preseason and reported to the team shortly before Week 1 in search of a new contract, but the Seahawks were reluctant to meet his financial demands.
Still, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was hesitant to say Thomas' actions were fueled by the contractual dispute.
"I don't know exactly what the intention of that was," he told KIRO-AM 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday. "I didn't see it, and I don't know what the intention was there, and I'm not jumping to conclusions on that. There's nothing for us to talk about at this point."
Thomas will be an unrestricted free agent in March.