The New Orleans Saints have placed former Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas on the ‘physically unable to perform (PUP)’ list for the start of training camp due to an ankle injury together with Marcus Davenport, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on the NFL.
After undergoing ankle surgery late in the last offseason, the wide receiver was placed on the PUP list at the beginning of the season and missed the entire 2021 season. However, Thomas was able to return to the field in Week 7. Still, he did not disclose that his recovery had suffered a setback back in November.
Meanwhile, Davenport had half of his left pinkie finger amputated. Thus, he’ll be on the PUP list for the start of training camp.
Throughout his seven seasons in the NFL, Thomas has been one of the top wide receivers in the league. Besides being named three-times Pro Bowl selection (2017-2019) and a two-time first-team All-Pro (2018, 19), he was also named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2019.
In 2019, he set a Saints record of 10 games with at least 100 receiving yards. For his rating in the EA Sports video game, he became a member of the coveted Madden 99 Club before the 2020 season.
Thomas didn’t get off to the same strong start at Ohio State. As a freshman, he had three receptions for 22 yards, but despite a solid spring, he redshirted as a sophomore in 2013.
In 2015, when he was a redshirt junior, Thomas nearly duplicated his championship season numbers. Despite the extra scrutiny, the Buckeyes’ receiver led the team receiver with 56 receptions, 781 yards, and nine touchdowns.
As a redshirt sophomore in 2014, Thomas led the Buckeyes in receptions (54), accumulated 799 receiving yards, and scored nine touchdowns. After an early-season defeat, Ohio State rebounded to win the Big Ten and make the first College Football Playoff, eventually capturing the 2014 national championship with Thomas as the team’s primary target and offensive leader.
Thomas decided to enter the 2015 NFL Draft after four seasons with the Buckeyes, which included a redshirt year. The Saints selected the wide receiver with the 47th overall pick in the second round.
With the Saints, Thomas quickly established himself as a starter. All-Rookie team honor was bestowed upon him after his rookie season, in which he hauled in 92 passes for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns. Thomas caught 104 catches for 1,245 yards and five touchdowns in 2017, which outperformed his draft pick position.
Thomas led the NFL in receptions in 2018 and 2019, having 125 and 149 receptions, respectively. On top of that, Thomas set a new record for receiving yards in 2019 with 1,725 yards, beating the previous record of 1,405 set by former Indianapolis Colt Reliever Marvin Harrison (1,405 yards).
Injuries afflicted Thomas in 2020, limiting him to only seven games and five starts for New Orleans. Despite having a solid year with 40 receptions for 438 yards, the receiver failed to score a touchdown pass for the first time in his NFL career.
After missing the entire 2021 season due to a knee injury, Thomas is hoping to return to the Saints’ roster. Improving the Saints’ poor passing offense ranking of last season will be impossible if Thomas isn’t healthy.
In addition to Thomas and Davenport, the Saints are seeking to get quarterback Jameis Winston back to the field from an ACL tear that ended his 2021 season prematurely.
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