Michael Thomas is assured to be in New Orleans for at least one more season, but he has work to do to return to full health in time for the 2023 season. Training camp has been named as the target for the oft-injured wideout to reach that point.
During an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed that Thomas will not be a full participant in the Saints’ offseason program (video link). He reiterated, however, the team’s confidence in the 30-year-old’s ability to return to his All-Pro form upon return.
“Right now, he’s still going through some of the rehab process,” Allen said. “He had some hardware removed out of that foot that he had surgery on this past season. He’s doing really well… Our anticipation is that he’ll be limited throughout this offseason. But our anticipation is that when we get to training camp, he’ll be good to go.”
Thomas was limited to three games in 2022 due to the toe injury which, as Allen noted, required surgery. The two-time All-Pro last put together a healthy season in 2019, a year in which he broke the record for receptions in a season (149) and led the league in yards (1,725). New Orleans has remained optimistic in his ability to remain highly productive when healthy, but his future appeared to be headed elsewhere after a January restructure of his contract.
However, the sides agreed to a new one-year deal with a maximum value of $15MM in March. That will give Thomas another opportunity to rebuild his value on an offense now led by quarterback Derek Carr and first-round wideout Chris Olave, who had a successful rookie campaign in 2022. Questions will naturally be raised regarding Thomas’ ability to remain healthy this season, and, if so, to once again be one of the most impactful receivers in the game.
On that point, general manager Mickey Loomis echoed Allen’s confidence that Thomas can post triple-digit catches for what would be a fourth time (Twitter link via ESPN’s Katherine Terrell). He also confirmed that the latter remains on schedule with his recovery, something which will be a key storyline to follow leading up to the season.