Michael Thomas’ placement on IR comes at a strange time

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USA TODAY Sports

After Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas injured his ankle in Week 1 against the Buccaneers, the Saints did not place him on the injured reserve, which would have put him aside for at least three weeks. He then missed eight weeks.

Now, after Thomas hasn’t worked out all week due to an ankle injury, the Saints put Thomas on the injured reserve on Saturday.

“Thomas’ ankle just wasn’t improving with training and games,” ESPN reported earlier today.

But this was get better. In week 11, Thomas was not listed in the injury report at all. This means that he had no practice limitations and that he was not receiving any ankle treatment.

For week 12, week 13, and week 14, Thomas was back on the injury report, with limited appearances every Wednesday and Thursday, full attendance on Friday of week 13 and week 14, and no pre-game injury designation since his ninth week. come back, when he was called “questionable”. Despite the limited participation of at least twist per week, Thomas was constantly training and playing constantly.

Something happened during or after last Sunday’s game against the Eagles, because Thomas was suddenly listed as “DNP” on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, before being struck out on Friday, then placed on IR on Saturday.

ESPN maintains that the Saints expect Thomas to be “close to 100% for the start of the playoffs.” The decision to put him on IR today means he cannot return to the active roster until Saturday, January 9. If the Saints don’t get a bye, Thomas could potentially return from the injured reserve on playoff day. . (It’s unclear whether Thomas will be allowed to practice the week before a wildcard match; multiple league sources disagree on this, and we’re trying to get a final answer from the league.)

Still, why stop Thomas for the last three games of the regular season and the wild card round after wearing him on the active roster for two months? It’s hard not to wonder if something else is going on. Perhaps coach Sean Payton became exasperated by the perception that Thomas wasn’t doing enough to train weeks before games, and that maybe Thomas was not as prepared as he could or should. be it on Sunday after not fully training. Or maybe there’s a lingering ill will stemming from the play test that was taken from Thomas after hitting a teammate in practice.

It’s highly unlikely that anyone will admit that this is anything other than dealing with the injury, and maybe that’s it. Facts and circumstances invite speculation that something more is happening. Maybe one of this week Sunday Splash! The stories will provide the rest of the story on everything that really goes on between Michael Thomas and the Saints.

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