Saints reporter: Michael Thomas (ankle) may be out until late October
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) will "need about 6-8 weeks for the repaired ligament to heal and then another 6-8 weeks to get it in shape to where he can run and cut effectively," reports Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football.
Underhill adds that there's a possibility Thomas beats that timeline, but it "seems unlikely" the receiver will be available for the Saints' season opener against the Green Bay Packers. The general consensus from Underhill and others seems to be that Thomas will be sidelined for September and then return at some point in October, perhaps after the Saints' Week 6 bye. Alvin Kamara proved to be the biggest beneficiary last season when Thomas missed time, and he should again see an uptick in volume with Thomas unavailable. There will also likely be more opportunities for Tre'Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway.
Kamara averaged 8.6 targets and 27.3 FanDuel points in eight games without Thomas last season. Among every Saints player with at least 20 targets in 2020, Smith added the most Reception Net Expected Points per target. numberFire's models expect Thomas to average 9.2 targets, 6.3 receptions, and 77.1 yards per game this season.
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