And its status remains unclear as 2022-23 NFL the season is approaching.
On Thursday, Saints head coach Dennis Allen revealed that Thomas doubted whether to attend the team’s mandatory minicamp, compared to bleacherdespite previous reports that Thomas was a lock to return to the field this season after a nearly two-year layoff.
“I think he’s in a good place mentally and, again, we’re just going to let this process happen and get him back to good health,” Allen said. “And look, we still have a lot of time before we play a game. I’m not looking for a huge jump, I just want to see him continue to improve a bit every day.
“We’re happy with what Mike has done in the rehab process. There are still a few hurdles we have to climb – with one of our guys having suffered injuries. [that] they’re trying to get over it.”
That said, the question remains: can Thomas return to being the player he once was?
“I sure hope so,” Allen said of the three-time Pro Bowler. “I think that’s what all of our goals are. I couldn’t answer that question, but that’s certainly what we anticipate and hope for.”
Thomas averaged 117.5 catches, 1,378 yards and eight touchdowns per season over the first four years of his New Orleans career. In 2019, his last full year played, Thomas posted a 2019 NFL record 149 catches for 1,725 yards en route to becoming the 2019 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
He played in seven games (five starts) in the 2020-21 season as he struggled with ankle and hamstring injuries before missing the entire 2021-22 campaign after undergoing surgery in the offseason. former.
With Thomas status up in the air, and QB James Winston returning to full strength for New Orleans, the Saints reloaded at wide receiver this offseason with a first-round pick Chris Olave and free agent acquisition Jarvis Landry to join the likes of like Mark Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith.
Thomas signed a five-year, $96 million contract extension in 2019. He’s expected to be $13.1 million against the Saints’ salary cap in 2022, per Professional football network.
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