Michael Thomas didn’t play a large role in the New Orleans Saints’ 34-23 Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reeling in just three catches for 17 yards. Despite that, though, he’s still an important member of the Saints offense, and they may have to suffer without him on Monday night.
According to ESPN’s Mike Triplett, Thomas’ status is “week-to-week” after he suffered a high ankle injury in the final moments of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. Because high ankle sprains can sideline players for three to four weeks, the Saints expect the 27-year-old to miss “Monday Night Football” against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Thomas limped off the field just before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter after having his leg rolled into by Latavius Murray.
While the Saints believe he’ll miss time, Thomas isn’t convinced and is hoping to come back as soon as possible. Things don’t look good for him, though, as the Saints are questioning whether or not to place him on injured reserve, which would sideline him for a minimum of three weeks.
If he misses Monday’s game, it’ll be just the second time in his career that he misses a game due to injury. Thomas missed just one game during his rookie season in 2016 with an unspecified foot injury.
Losing Thomas, who set an NFL record last season with 149 catches for 1,725 yards and touchdowns, could end up being costly for the Saints. On top of playing the Raiders, New Orleans has games against the Green bay Packers and Detroit Lions coming up.
If he does miss any amount of time, Emmanuel Sanders will be more heavily relied upon moving forward. Although the 33-year-old had just three receptions for 15 yards against the Buccaneers, he’s among the most talented receivers in the NFL. However, he hasn’t had a 1,000-yard receiving season since his 2016 campaign with the Denver Broncos.
The Saints and Raiders haven’t met since 2016 — a game New Orleans lost by one point despite Drew Brees throwing for 423 yards and four touchdowns. With the all-time series tied at 6-6-1, Monday night’s game will be for bragging rights … and a 2-0 record.