With a 30-20 loss, the New Orleans Saints will enter the offseason, and for Drew Brees and Michael Thomas, that might be a welcome sight.
The New Orleans Saints’ two most important players were far more banged up than most people thought as both Michael Thomas and Drew Brees will head into a long offseason that should help aid their individual recoveries.
Apparently, both stars played through significant injuries despite Thomas not playing the last few regular-season games. That said, if you watched their Divisional Round loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you knew something was off.
The duo was nonexistent.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter via Mike Triplett, the Saints superstar receiver is “likely to have surgeries on the torn deltoid and other injured ligaments in his ankle that plagued him all season.”
Thomas didn’t seem like the same player since Week 1, so he might have been dealing with these injuries for several months. The 2019 Offensive Player of the Year, Thomas didn’t even sniff his numbers from a season ago.
As for Brees, his wife revealed on Instagram that he’d been playing through a torn rotator cuff and torn fascia along with the rib injuries and partially collapsed lung we knew about earlier in the season.
Neither quarterback was overly impressive in the playoff game as Brees threw for 134 yards and Brady reached just 199. The difference in the game was clearly Brees’ three interceptions. That, and the fact that Thomas was held with a reception.
Thomas did it because the coaches knew the team was better with him injured and on the field than with him off. It’s a tough decision to make, but Thomas only likely continued to play because those injured couldn’t get worse and he could use the offseason to heal.
For Brees, there may be no more.
With a gig at NBC on the horizon and just passing 42 years old, he may be calling it quits. Even if he does, what both he and Thomas gave to the Saints should be something the team’s fanbase remembers even through a discouraging loss.
The Saints team wasn’t perfect as we saw, but they all bought in and played for each other even through the difficulties. That’s a locker room that players should want to a part of, and it’ll hopefully be what drives the Saints to success following the Brees’ era.
The Saints have a big-time offseason in front of them. They have Taysom Hill under contract and also have Jameis Winston still in the organization. Can they re-sign Winston? That will be a major question.