Coming off of a record-breaking 2019 season, the sky seemed like the limit for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas. The superstar receiver had Drew Brees back for another season, the offensive line still seemed sound, and the Saints had managed to shore up the offense with another wide receiving threat in Emmanuel Sanders.
Instead, 2020 turned into a frustrating experience for Thomas, who hardly got to share the field with Brees and Alvin Kamara. He suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 that pestered him throughout the entire season and kept him out until Week 9. Thomas was also suspended for a game after punching Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, one of a few times this year Gardner-Johnson found himself getting clocked by a receiver.
All things told, it was a quiet year for Thomas. He had just 40 receptions for 438 yards and no touchdowns, relatively meager numbers even prorating for the games he missed. Thomas broke out a bit during Wild Card Weekend against the Bears, catching five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown, but it was followed with a shutout in the NFC Divisional round against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Since the loss, Thomas has been characteristically cryptic on Twitter. Despite being attacked from every direction for the poor showing in the final game of the season, Adam Schefter reported there was more going on than what meets the eye.
Saints’ WR Michael Thomas is likely to have surgeries on both the torn deltoid and other injured ligaments in his high ankle this offseason, per source. He knew it was likely Drew Brees’ last year and didn’t want to miss out trying win a Super Bowl with him.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 19, 2021
Once Thomas gets those surgeries, perhaps he can return to the force of nature he was in 2019. However, there’s a good chance he’ll be adjusting to someone different throwing him the ball come the 2021 season.
New Orleans has Thomas locked up for a long time at this point, and this season isn’t anything to be alarmed about. Great receivers get hampered by injury all the time. Ultimately, it will be about how he comes back from it.
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