News: 5 days agoSaints GM Micky Loomis says the team supported Thomas' plan to treat his ankle injury with rest rather than surgery at the beginning of the offseason, John Keim of ESPN.com reports.
Spin: Player and team seem to have been in agreement on a decision that ended up backfiring. Thomas apparently didn't look healthy at June minicamp, and it was decided afterward that he'd finally get surgery on the ankle that's been bothering him since Week 1 of last season. Given the timing of his ankle surgery -- which reportedly comes with a recovery estimate of four months -- Thomas likely will be out through September and perhaps into October or even November. The Saints should have open competition for roles at wide receiver, with Tre'Quan Smith the only clear starter from a group that includes Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway, Juwan Johnson, Kawaan Baker and now Chris Hogan.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Thomas is back as the Saints' No. 1 WR, but he's expected to miss a few games to open the 2021 season due to injury. This comes after Thomas suffered through an injury-plagued 2020 campaign that saw the veteran wide receiver post a 40-438-0 receiving line in seven regular-season outings. It's a disappointing turn of events after a 2019 campaign in which he set the NFL single-season reception record while posting an incredible 149-1,725-9 receiving line on 185 targets. Thomas had finished four consecutive seasons as a top-seven fantasy WR before last year's debacle. The Saints' QB situation is a question mark for the first time in Thomas' career (and Drew Brees' retirement is sure to hurt his efficiency), but a hefty target share (once healthy) shouldn't be a problem for Thomas, considering the Saints' underwhelming situation behind him on the depth chart. The 28-year-old is a fine mid-round target as he'll be in the WR1 mix when on the field.