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Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) participates in team drills Saturday

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Michael Thomas hasn’t played in an NFL game since January 2021, but reports from training camp show the wide receiver has taken the plunge in a long process of getting back on the field.

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NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport revealed that Thomas was involved in team practice during Saturday’s Saints practice, noting that Thomas was “totally ready” for training camp. It’s a hopeful development in the ongoing saga of Thomas’ long recovery from ankle surgery that kept him sidelined for over a year.

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The player initially injured his ankle in the first week of the 2020 season and, while battling pain, he struggled to record just 40 catches and 438 receiving yards in just seven games played.

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Thomas opted to have ankle surgery the following off-season in June to address this issue, with his original return schedule of about four months. But Thomas ended up not playing at all in 2021 and still not 100 percent on training programs this offseason.

The recovery process has been slow as Thomas has not participated in organized team activities and started training camp on the physically unable to compete list, but with Thomas cleared for individual training on Wednesday and team training on Saturday, it looks like he is finally , able to make it comeback.

That’s welcome news for the Saints, whose receiver corps struggled hard without a three-time Pro Bowler in 2021. New Orleans finished last in the league in total receiving yards, with no player receiving more than 700 receiving yards.

Thomas recorded at least 1,100 receiving yards in his first four seasons and led the Saints in receiving yards all those four years, including the 2019 campaign in which he set an NFL single-season record with 149 receptions.

If his practice continues to develop in the right direction throughout the preseason and he can play at the same level this year, it will be a huge help to the Saints offense.

New Orleans also resolved last season’s drafting issues by acquiring veteran Jarvis Landry and drafting first-round pick Chris Olav from Ohio State, so all together the signs point to the offense starting the season in a much better position than it did this year. time last year.

So after months of questions about when Thomas could make his long-awaited return, it looks like the wide receiver is playing in full health during training camp and could make his long-awaited return to the field in the first week.

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Source: www.nfl.com

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