Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints has been ruled out for the season.
After a setback in his recuperation after offseason ankle surgery, the wideout revealed on Wednesday that he will not return for the 2021 season.
“I’ve always been a man of faith, and these last few months have really put my faith to the test,” Thomas posted on social media. “As many of you know, I hurt my ankle early last season and fought tremendously hard over the following three months to recover in time to complete the season.” Unfortunately, the rehab did not go as anticipated, and it became clear during this off-season that I would need surgery to fix the damage.
“Since then, the team and I have worked tirelessly, day in and day out, to rehab and bring me back on the field.” Unfortunately, there has been another little setback that we must resolve. Unfortunately, I will not be able to return in time for this season, but I will do all in my ability to return to the player I have always been. I know God doesn’t make errors, so I’ll keep following in his footsteps, and I can’t wait to go back on the field in front of the finest fans on the globe.”
Earlier in the day, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport claimed that Thomas had sustained a fresh, separate ankle ailment that necessitated a visit to a specialist.
According to Sports Illustrated, Saints coach Sean Payton subsequently revealed that Thomas’ setback “had more to do with the treatment he underwent” previous to this current ailment.
Thomas has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since the season began. He was eligible to be activated in Week 7, but the Saints were yet to make a decision. He’s finished for the season.
Thomas began his career with four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and set the NFL record most catches in 2019 with 149. However, ankle ailments have disrupted the previous two seasons. In 2020, the 28-year-old played in only seven games, pushing off surgery in order to compete for a Super Bowl in Drew Brees’ last season.
Following Thomas’ injury, Rapoport said that the Saints sought to acquire receiving assistance before Tuesday’s trade deadline, including discussions with the New York Giants about Darius Slayton, but were unable to complete a deal.
Alvin Kamara, the Saints’ running back, has 28 receptions through seven games. Marquez Callaway, the team’s second-leading receiver, with 19 receptions for 284 yards and three touchdowns.
Payton voiced faith in the remaining wideouts, telling reporters, “I felt they had a fantastic game last week.” I like these people because they’re fierce and competitive. I’m not interested in your PFF scores or anything else like that. Obviously, you’re better off with Mike Thomas in that group, but we don’t have him.”
The Saints are 5-2 and in postseason contention, but Thomas’ injury is the latest blow for Sean Payton’s offense, which also lost quarterback Jameis Winston to an ACL rupture on Sunday. Payton will now have to stitch together a receiving corps with 10 games left and little chance of the Pro Bowl receiver returning for the final push.
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