Michael Thomas’ most recent placement on injured reserve will probably result in the end of his season, bringing another underwhelming conclusion to a once-promising year.
The news hurts Thomas more than usual. Thomas is facing a recognizable end after an amazing beginning that includes three touchdown catches and another recuperation and rehabilitation process.
Alvin Kamara, a Saints teammate, feels Thomas’ agony.
According to Kamara on Friday, “It just stinks to see a player of that type, a great player who obviously works hard, and is passionate about the game, that just somewhat got hit with some unlucky circumstances.”
Beyond the fact that Thomas is once again out of commission, the drawback of his placement on IR is how it changes how the public views him. Thomas was without a doubt the best receiver in the NFL three years ago. He had 149 receptions, which was a single-season record, and he had at least 1,100 receiving yards in each of his first four seasons.
Then, the wheels practically came off. Since 2019, Thomas has experienced numerous lower-leg problems, which cost him 26 games between 2020 and 2021. That amount will increase to 40 by the end of the 2022 regular season.
“Nobody’s in here like ‘Let me get injured and not play and just get paid,'” Kamara said. “We get paid to play obviously and we want to be available but when you can’t do it, there’s certain things you’ve got to be smart about. He’s not going to ruin the rest of his career for right now.”
Last year, when Thomas suffered a second injury, New Orleans learned its lesson, selecting Chris Olave, another Ohio State graduate, with their first-round pick, and signing veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Despite the fact that the Saints are in a better situation at this position currently than they were last season, Thomas’ departure still hurts.
Mike is one of the guys trying to be on the field, out of everyone in this locker room, according to Kamara. “He even wanted to play even though he knew he would have to do that, mend his foot, and miss the entire season.”
Thomas made a vigorous rehab effort for his ankle injury in an effort to delay surgery until the 2021 season, but that strategy backfired. Since then, he’s grown from the experience, and despite his desire to play with his teammates on the field, he’s choosing the prudent course of action with his toe injury.
He will surely mark the first day of the 2023 season on his calendar.