Saints need Michael Thomas to have a stellar bounce back season

New Orleans Saints, Michael Thomas - Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
New Orleans Saints, Michael Thomas - Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images /

Returning from injury is a hard task for professional athletes. Can the Saints rely on their No.1 receiver to make an impressive comeback in 2022?

Dealing with injuries is a setback for any professional sports organization. Unexpected accidents can occur at any time throughout the regular season – killing the momentum a team has worked hard to build. Head Coach Dennis Allen and the New Orleans Saints know this feeling too well.

After experiencing success as the defensive coordinator, Allen has replaced Sean Payton as the man in charge. His tenure with the franchise helped Allen understand the role that players on the squad held – including their All-Pro receiver.

Michael Thomas has asserted himself as one of the most talented wide receivers during his six years in the NFL. His 510 career receptions validate his reputation as a dependable receiver. Since joining the league in 2016, Thomas has demonstrated his consistency on the field. In 2019, New Orleans’’ No.1 receiver totaled 1,725 yards receiving – leading all wideouts in the category.

Saints struggle while Thomas nurses injuries

Injuries kept No.13 from repeating his success at the beginning of the 2020 season. A high ankle sprain against the Buccaneers in week one sidelined Thomas for a few weeks. A month later, a hamstring injury in practice added two more games to his attendance record.

In December of 2020, an ankle injury caused Thomas to miss the final three games of the regular season. Setbacks in rehab extended his absence for an entire season – leaving him to watch from the sidelines in 2021.

Returning to action has been the focus for the former Oklahoma State Cowboy. After nursing his injuries for two seasons, Thomas is anxious to show fans and analysts that he is still one of the best at his position. Mirroring the success of previous seasons is a task that the six-year veteran is ready to embrace. In five seasons with the Saints, Michael Thomas has reached the 1,000-yard benchmark four times – coming short in 2020 due to injury.

Saints need Michael Thomas to win NFC South

Developing chemistry with the new quarterback is the main priority on Thomas’ to-do list. Drew Brees was the last quarterback to complete a pass to Thomas – who is now replaced by Jameis Winston.

An explosive start to the 2021 campaign helped the former Florida State Seminole earn respect in the Saints locker room. His 14 touchdowns and three interceptions carried the team through a seven-game span before injuries ended his season.

Although Winston lacks the experience, the future looks bright for the offense. Mickey Loomis and the Saints front office hope that the return of their Pro-Bowl receiver will help the team reclaim the NFC South. Michael Thomas has proved that he is a player the league should watch. If the Saints want to compete in the playoffs, they will ensure Thomas is up to speed.