Michael Thomas may have been close to unstoppable in 2019, but
the New Orleans Saints’ superstar receiver has basically been invisible in the wake of his
Thomas has only appeared in seven games since racking up 149
receptions for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns in 2019, logging just
snaps across seven games in 2020 and missing all of last year as he recovered
from a nagging ankle injury.
The Saints’ aerial attack has struggled without Thomas in the lineup—they had
the league’s worst passing offense in 2021—but the club appears ready to turn a
corner with or without the three-time Pro Bowler in the lineup.
There are plenty of mouths to feed in the Big Easy now,
competition that could cut into Thomas’ workload if he’s not at his best.
Not only was fellow Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry picked up in
free agency, but the Saints also landed prized rookie Chris Olave with the No.
11 pick. They also have Taysom Hill locked in as a pass-catching tight
end instead of flirting with the QB position.
Jameis Winston, who was putting up elite efficiency
numbers last year before an ACL tear cut his season short, returned to the fold on a two-year
deal, ending New Orleans’ uncertainty under center.
Thomas turned 29 back in March, and it’s far from certain he’ll return to his All-Pro form even with
a clean bill of health. He only caught 40 passes for 438 yards and zero
touchdowns in 2020 and has a lot of rust to knock off after being sidelined so
At his best, the wideout will represent a massive upgrade
for the Saints’ receiving corps. During the lead-up to the 2022 season, the team will be hoping he can showcase the
skills that made him one of the game’s greatest at his position, but Thomas has a long way to go to prove he’s
still that player.