The New Orleans Saints took the field for the first day of on-field training camp drills today with a little more pep than usual. That’s because—for the first time since 2020—superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas returned to the field and was trotting out with them.
Multiple reports have confirmed the veteran wideout was a limited participant in practice today. For a player that has struggled with injuries for the past two seasons—punctuated by a high-ankle sprain that cost him all of last season—this is a major step in the right direction.
Big development on Day 1 of Saints training camp: Michael Thomas was back in action. Did everything but full-team sessions. pic.twitter.com/mvkMKwOZI3
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) July 27, 2022
Thomas participated in all drills aside from the Saints’ full-team sessions and, following practice, reporters caught up with the elated wideout.
“I’m kinda lost for words,” Thomas told them. “I didn’t want to come up here and get emotional or anything but, it was a blessing to definitely be back out there with the guys. Being able to put my head in the pile, just being out there to perfect my craft and compete and encourage guys.”
The 29-year-old is only a few seasons removed from a record-breaking campaign in which he was named Offensive Player of the Year. He had more receptions (149) than any receiver in NFL history. He totaled an impressive 1725 receiving yards and nine touchdowns for a New Orleans squad that finished 13-3 but failed to advance to the Divisional Round.
Thomas would be a huge boost to a Saints offense shrouded in uncertainty following news of a potential suspension for star running back Alvin Kamara. Pairing Chris Olave—the eleventh overall pick and fellow Ohio State alum—with Thomas could help give new coach Dennis Allen and quarterback Jameis Winston one of the most potent wide receiver combos in the NFL.