New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will be missing the first of the five opening games of the new season, as he was placed on the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday.
Players on this list will not be involved in any practising until the first six weeks of the regular campaign passed, but the wide receiver will only be on the sidelines for five games as the Saints have a bye in Week 6, with no US online gambling sites placing odds for that week.
His return to the team will probably be on Week 7 when they will be playing at the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. Thomas was sidelined ever since he underwent ankle surgery in June, now, the Saint head coach Sean Payton claimed that the player was ahead of his schedule in recovery, leading to the optimistic rumours of the receiver returning to the team as soon as he's eligible to.
Thomas late timing surgery was a source of distress for the team, with Payton, at the beginning of training camp, claimed to the media via best Australian online pokies: "Obviously we would've liked that to happen earlier than later. And quite honestly, it should've."
The 28-year-old wide receiver took offence on social media to rumours that previously cited sources blaming the player. The tensions were eventually reduced earlier this month when it was reported that Thomas and Payton had a productive conversation over the phone with Thomas joining the team on the road for its preseason opener at Baltimore.
Thomas was sidelined for a total of nine games last year when he succumbed to the injury in the final minutes of Week 1. The player returned to play in Week 9 but was then placed on the injured reserve list from Weeks 15 to 17 to recover before returning once more for the playoffs.
The player ended up registering 40 catches for 438 yards in seven games and didn't manage his first touchdown pass until the playoffs. After the season, Schefter reported to the media that surgery was expected as the wide receiver has torn the deltoid in his left ankle at the time.
The New Orleans Saint will be placing their hopes on Marquez Callaway, a second-year breakout star, and fourth-year receiver Tre'Quan Smith to fill the void left behind by Thomas in the team.
Smith had also been on the sidelines for some weeks, but ESPN's Monday Night Football reporters confirmed that the player will be returning from his hamstring injury very soon.