The New Orleans Saints have been noticeably lacking depth at wide receiver through the first couple weeks of the 2021 regular season. Much of that is due to the absence of former All-Pro pass-catcher Michael Thomas.
Thomas has been sidelined on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since the start of the campaign. The Saints placed him there after he underwent surgery on an injured ankle much later than the organization previously anticipated this offseason.
Although players that landed on PUP before the start of the 2021 regular season will be eligible to return this upcoming week, New Orleans will still be without Thomas for a few more games, according to a latest report.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport shared Monday that the Saints, who were on bye this past weekend, don’t anticipate getting Thomas back on the field very soon. New Orleans may have to wait until November to have the 28-year-old back in action.
“I’m told that [Michael Thomas] is still expected to be a couple weeks away,” Rapoport reported on Monday afternoon. “So that quick infusion of offense for the New Orleans Saints doesn’t sound like it’s coming this week or next week.”
From NFL Now: As the players on PUP are eligible to come off the list and practice, we took a look at some key ones. Of note: #Saints WR Michael Thomas is believed to be a few weeks away. pic.twitter.com/pNCD4AN0rA
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 18, 2021
The Monday report is just the latest frustration for Thomas, who hasn’t been able to stay on the field consistently since Week 1 of the 2020 season, when he first injured his ankle. The delayed spring surgery wasn’t expected to keep him out for this long and the Saints had thought to get him on the field after the bye week.
New Orleans will now be forced to wait a little longer before Thomas can return. The Saints could desperately use the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year to give their offense a spark, but will have to make do without him in the meantime.