This injury which happened in Week 1 of the 2020 season and plagued Thomas all year was not fully treated in the offseason.
When Thomas reported to mandatory minicamp in June, the ankle was still an issue.
The Saints told Thomas to get the surgery.
As a result, he finally had surgery in June.
Is Michael Thomas burning bridges with the Saints by delaying treatment for an injury he suffered 10 months ago?
It already sounds like Coach Payton is frustrated with Thomas.
Sean Payton on WR Michael Thomas’ surgery, which took place in June despite injury occurring last season: “It’s disappointing. We would’ve liked for that to happen earlier, and quite frankly, it should have.” …Loomis said it was collective decision. Doesn’t sound so collective.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) July 28, 2021
The answer is yes; he is burning bridges.
1. Thomas Will Be Out At Least One Month
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 23, 2021
A projected timeline for his recovery is four months.
That means he will likely not be available for the first four to six weeks of the season.
The Saints have a lot of change in 2021 with the retirement of Drew Brees so they cannot be happy that Thomas will not be available at the start of the season.
That means Alvin Kamara will have to carry the load at both running back and wide receiver.
WR1 & RB1 😳
Alvin Kamara will have to do it all for New Orleans with Michael Thomas sidelined 👀 pic.twitter.com/um1OknsG42
— PFF (@PFF) July 23, 2021
2. Reports Indicate That Thomas Was Not Proactively Seeking Treatment In The Offseason
Nick Underhill of NewOrleansFootball.com is reporting facts that cannot make the Saints happy.
Underhill reports that Thomas saw a specialist at the end of the season.
The specialist thought Thomas could potentially avoid surgery if he waited a month or six weeks (in an effort to heal the ankle).
A return visit was expected to evaluate if the healing occurred or if surgery was the next step.
According to Underhill, Thomas never made the return visit to the specialist.
No one really knows what Thomas was doing about the injury between the months of March and June.
If he had the surgery in March and assuming the four month timeline is true, he could have been ready in the July/August timeframe.
Playing Week 1 would have been a realistic possibility.
This drama with Michael Thomas is not going away.
In fact, it started brewing in 2020.
Thomas was fined last season for a fight with safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
The Saints are now fuming that he is not ready for the 2021 season.
Communication was obviously not good between the Saints and Thomas in the offseason.
Otherwise, the Saints would have known before he showed up at minicamp that he never had surgery.
The fact that they were taken by surprise at the condition of his ankle in June speaks volumes about the relationship between the parties.
Now the Saints are likely to look elsewhere for free agent help to fill in for Thomas.
If the team gets off to a winning start without Thomas, the trade rumors that were shot down by Payton last season could become closer to reality.