Saints: Michael Thomas’ recovery timeline revealed
By Kristen Wong
The New Orleans Saints and wide receiver Michael Thomas haven’t exactly gotten along this offseason.
Sean Payton and Thomas have since patched things up, but you get the sense the franchise still harbors some bitterness toward their once-golden child. This offseason, Thomas underwent surgery later than the Saints wanted, and now there’s a clearer timeline for when Thomas could be back on the field.
NFL’s Adam Schefter reported that Thomas will likely land on PUP for the start of the season and sit out for at least the first five games.
This is slightly more optimistic than what NFL’s Ian Rapoport had reported back in July, when news of Thomas requiring ankle surgery first broke out. Rapoport had at the time given a roughly four-month recovery timetable for Thomas.
New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas will be sidelined for season’s first five games
Throughout all the Saints-Thomas drama (and the trade rumors), one thing is for sure: New Orleans still need Thomas.
After roster cuts, Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, and Deonte Harris remain the top three in the Saints’ receiving corps, but two of them (Smith and Harris) will probably miss the start of the season due to injury or suspension.
The rest of wide receiver room – Ty Montgomery, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Chris Hogan, and Kevin White – will be expected to step up and make big plays for the Saints early on.
With elite pocket-passer Jameis Winston starting at quarterback, it’s really a shame Thomas won’t get more chances to play with Winston this year. Had Thomas been healthy to start the season, he might have broken his own single-season reception record (149) that he set in 2019.
For now, Thomas will have to watch Winston find a new No. 1 pass target in Callaway, who has been scintillating this preseason and will need to keep up the high production.
Thomas’ absence has dealt a huge blow to the Saints’ passing game in 2021, but we’re confident the wide receiver room will work itself out.