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Saints receiver Michael Thomas back to running, cutting on his ankle

Andrew Buller-Russ

Here’s some news that should make all New Orleans Saints fans excited for the 2022 season to get underway. The past few seasons has seen the emergence of Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase establishing themselves as top wide receivers in football, but what about Michael Thomas? Did everyone suddenly just forget about his record-setting 2019, in which he hauled in 149 receptions and 1,725 receiving yards?

It’s fair to understand if some outside of the Big Easy have begun to forget just how effective Thomas is when he’s at his best, or in his case, 100% healthy. With Thomas playing just seven games in 2020 and missing all of 2021 as he’s battled his way through ankle injuries, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the two-time All-Pro receiver on the gridiron.

But that figures to change this year.

Michael Thomas nearing 100% heading into 2022

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Watching Saints games the past two years just hasn’t been the same. Their passing offense has been woeful at times, but without their top receiver, it’s difficult to create matchup problems on a consistent basis. Especially when they became so used to seeing Thomas command much of the defense’s attention, with two defenders frequently draped all over the 6-foot-3 receiver.

But there’s reason for optimism, with Thomas recently sharing one of his offseason workout videos to his Instagram. In the clip, Thomas can be seen running routes, moving without any limitations holding him back.

Despite not seeing any of Thomas a year ago, this latest development has to be seen as encouraging as the Saints try to get this offense off the ground with Jameis Winston getting the keys to the offense. Having his WR1 by his side should help not only Winston, but also allow for more open space for Alvin Kamara whether it’s out of the backfield or catching passes in the beyond.

First things first, Thomas has to get through camp, but if his recent workout is any indication, that shouldn’t be a problem this fall.

Related: New Orleans Saints QB situation: The long-term outlook