As first reported by Ian Rappaport, Michael Thomas underwent ankle surgery in June of this year. This injury stems from the same ankle that caused Thomas to miss large portions of the 2020 season. The recovery time for this kind of surgery is likely to be months. The New Orleans Saints will likely head into the regular season without Michael Thomas due to this ongoing injury. The record-setting wide receiver leaves an already depleted Saints team with another issue to address this off-season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 23, 2021
Michael Thomas Expected To Miss Start Of Season After Surgery
The timing of this announcement and surgery are curious. This injury was the same one that Michael Thomas first suffered in September of 2021. It is likely that Thomas was trying to rehabilitate the injury instead of surgery after the season. The injury was already rumored to be bad enough to end the season for Thomas in 2020 but he wanted to play in Drew Brees’ last year.
In Michael Thomas’s first four seasons, he started 12 or more games every year. Last season’s injury was the first one to hinder Thomas in the NFL. In 2018 and 2019, Thomas lead the NFL in receptions, leading to him being selected to the Pro-Bowl and be a First-Team All-Pro. In 2019, he also lead the league in yards and yards per game. Thomas’s production over his career should not be overlooked due to this latest injury. The Saints lost Emmanuel Sanders this off-season and did not bring in a significant wide receiver to help replace Thomas’s production.
With the surgery being done in June though, the timeline for Michael Thomas’ return could be until October. The Saints wide receiver unit was already thin and young. The timing of this surgery diminishes the group even more. The Saints will likely go into the season with Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, and Deonte Harris as their primary receivers. All of these receivers took a step forward in 2020 with Thomas missing time and will be asked to do even more to begin the 2021 year.
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