In an era of the NFL where player movement is frequent, the New Orleans Saints are banking on a return to form from one of their own.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas has had a rough stretch with injuries over the past three seasons, but the Saints believe he can return to his elite status as a wideout in the 2023 season.
General Manager Mickey Loomis has expressed optimism regarding Thomas’ potential to catch 100 targets again, stating “Absolutely he can” when asked if Thomas could achieve that milestone.
Between 2017 and 2019, Thomas recorded 100 or more receptions each season, and in 2019 he set an NFL record with 149 receptions in 16 games, earning the Offensive Player of the Year award.
Thomas has faced significant injuries since 2020, missing 40 games due to injuries and having surgery on his toe after playing only three games last season.
While his age of 30 raises questions about his durability, the Saints believe he can make a successful comeback.
The Saints have already found a new top wide receiver in Chris Olave, who had an impressive rookie season in 2022, finishing with 1,042 receiving yards in 15 games.
However, the Saints’ WR room is thin, with only Rashid Shaheed and Tre’Quan Smith, neither of whom crossed the 30-reception mark last season.
With the addition of new quarterback Derek Carr, the Saints need reliable targets. The team recently signed Thomas to a one-year deal this offseason, giving him a chance to re-energize his career.
Head coach Dennis Allen confirmed during a recent appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show” that Thomas would be good to go for training camp, which is a good sign for the Saints.
While he may fill a different role in the offense, Thomas can still be a productive player, and his return to form could be a significant boost for the team in the upcoming season.