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As offense, defense finds a groove, injuries hold the fate of the 2022 season

Here’s what we know about the impending returns of Thomas, Lattimore and Landry

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints were firing on all cylinders against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, and boy oh boy, it was a fun one to watch.

Not only did the Saints shut out an offense that features multiple explosive playmakers, they also found continuous offensive success on both the air and ground. It was a reminder of the talent that the team possesses, even without three of their biggest playmakers.

As the offense has substantially improved over the past four weeks, the defense also seems to have found a bit of their old mojo. There is still hope for the Who Dats in the NFC South.

However, let’s keep in mind that although the NFC South is abysmal this season, there is still a huge mountain to climb before reaching the summit. The biggest obstacle in their way is not coaching woes, not a lack of talent, but actually getting injured players back on the field.

And the Saints need them back as soon as possible.

The most important returns from the injury list will be Marshon Lattimore, Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry. Here’s when we can expect them to return and what their presence will mean to the team.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Marshon Lattimore has been absent since Oct. 9 with an abdomen injury sustained in the fourth quarter against the Seahawks. As of this Tuesday, he has yet to practice with the team since his injury. His return date or his specific abdomen injury diagnosis has not been specified.

According to, a first-degree abdomen strain indicates a three week return time, a second-degree strain indicates a four to six week return time, and a third-degree strain indicates a three month return time. Hopefully, Lattimore has a first-degree strain and can return this weekend. His practice status on Tuesday will be huge for determining his return.

Lattimore’s absence has likely been felt harder than any other absence, especially against Cincinnati and Arizona. His return will bring stability back to a young and inexperienced squad of defensive backs. He’s our lockdown DB that can go against anyone, and at the very least, limit the damage done. His return will be the most important injury status going forward.

Michael Thomas has been absent for five weeks with a foot injury. Last week, he was a limited participant in Tuesday’s practice, but did not practice the rest of the week. His brief presence at a practice last week is a good sign that he could be returning soon, and another limited participation on Tuesday could mean that he plays this weekend.

Thomas is the most experienced and talented wide receiver on this roster and one of the most talented in this league. Chirs Olave has done well stepping into the WR1 role, but the passing attack enters a new dimension with Mike on the field. His return will boost this offense immensely.

Jarvis Landry has been absent since week five with an ankle injury. Not much has been said about his return, but perhaps a limited participation this week in practice will give fans some hope.

Landry reminded us in the Atlanta game that he is still very much a Pro-Bowl caliber wide receiver with plenty to give. He’s also a proven leader, something that this offense can always use more of. His return is almost as important as Thomas’.

This week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens is an “all-hands-on-deck” type of game. Unfortunately, it seems like at least a few hands will be missing, but just how many is the question. The team should release an injury report following practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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