METAIRIE, La. -- Michael Thomas' discipline lasted only one game, according to New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton. As long as he is healthy, the Saints' star receiver is eligible to return Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
Thomas was listed as limited in Wednesday's practice with the ankle injury that has sidelined him since Week 1 and a new hamstring issue. Thomas did not participate in the early portion of Wednesday's practice that was open to the media. But he was dressed in uniform and apparently returned to practice later based on the limited designation.
Thomas has been sidelined since he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 1. But he appeared close to returning in Week 5 before he was disciplined by the team for an altercation during practice that included him punching teammate C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
The Saints had a bye in Week 6, which should have given Thomas even more time to heal -- though Payton declined to offer any injury projections.
"We'll see. I think he's feeling better. [But] we really don't get into injuries or projections," Payton said Wednesday morning.
Payton also declined to get into any further details of Thomas' disciplinary incident when asked how Thomas responded to his punishment.
"Not interested in talking about how he responded," Payton said. "We're getting ready for Carolina this week, we had a good bye week, and here we are."
Thomas himself said that he will be back this week while making a cameo appearance in the background of teammate Cameron Jordan's interview with ESPN's First Take last week. Otherwise, Thomas has not spoken with the media since the incident.