Only an ankle injury can stop Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees won’t have his favorite wide receiver on the field during Monday Night Football when the Saints visit the Las Vegas Raiders.

New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas Ankle Injury Out
It takes multiple Tampa Bay Bucs and an ankle injury to tackle Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints. (Image: Chris Graythen/Getty)

Thomas, a three-time Pro Bowler, sprained his ankle in the season opener against Tampa Bay. The Saints spoiled Tom Brady’s debut with the Bucs with a 34-23 win, but they might have lost their most lethal offensive weapon for several weeks.

Thomas caught just three passes for 17 yards in the opener, which was the second-lowest total of his career. It appeared Thomas suffered the ankle injury sometime during the fourth quarter.

2016 92 1,137 9
2017 104 1,246 6
2018 125 1,405 9
2019 149 1,725 9

Thomas, 27, led the NFL in receptions over the past two seasons. Thomas improved his numbers every season since he arrived in New Orleans. In 2018, he led the league with 125 catches. Last season, he caught 149 passes. His Twitter handle says it all: @CantGuardMike.

The Saints selected the Ohio State standout in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

High Sprain, Another Bad Beat in NOLA

With a high-ankle sprain, Thomas could miss anywhere from three or four weeks. He said he wanted to suit up for Monday Night Football.

There are contrasting reports that Thomas is either week-to-week or headed to the injured reserve. If he hits the IR, he’ll have to miss as much as three weeks.

Thomas missed only one game in his first four seasons as a pro. He played in every game the last two seasons.

Last season, the Saints lost Drew Brees for several weeks when he injured his thumb in Week 2. Backup QB Teddy Bridgewater went 5-0 as the starter and kept the Saints in first place in the NFC South.

With Thomas down, Emmanuel Sanders becomes the #1 wideout in New Orleans, while Tre’Quan Smith moves up the depth chart. He showed signs of promise last season before a sprained ankle sidelined him for more than a month.

Also, keep an eye on TE Jared Cook and Nola’s Swiss army knife, Taysom Hill.

If you drafted Thomas in your fantasy football pool, you’re bumming out right now. I feel your pain. If you’re hitting the waiver wire for someone to fill in for Thomas on a temporary basis, consider adding third-stringer Smith, Darius Slatyton (NY Giants), Sammy Watkins (Kansas City), or Parris Campbell (Indianapolis).

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