The New Orleans Saints will be marching into the 2023 NFL season with a new quarterback at the helm with the signing of Derek Carr in the offseason. They will also be marching into the season with a healthy Michael Thomas inspired to return to his star potential at the wide receiver position.
After menacing the league and opponents in 2019 as one of the most electric playmakers in the NFL, Thomas has yet to play a full season in the NFL due to an ankle injury. In fact, that injury caused him to miss the entire 2021 season and limited him in 2022.
With just 16 receptions for 171 yards injust 3 games played in 2022, Thomas mostly sat on the sideline and watched emerging Saints receiver Chris Olave star on offense. Could that spark a Michael Thomas revival down in Orleans?
Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will thrive now that he’s 100 percent
Health will be the biggest dictator of that as well as motivation. In taking a pay cut in March to remain with the team, Thomas not only has something to prove in a Saints’ uniform, but he also has something to prove to the rest of the NFL. With the emergence of Olave, if Thomas doesn’t show he’s the player he was prior to the injury, he could become a trade candidate.
But, because trade rumors become the buzz, Thomas is working on getting back to who he was as a player. Entering camp, Thomas talked about his path towards getting stronger.
"“Once I passed my physical and they gave me the green light and they checked all the details they needed to check, I trusted it,” Thomas said back at the beginning of August, via the Associated Press. “I have real strong faith in God, and I know it was a process to get here. And I didn’t cheat that process. So, eventually if you don’t cheat that process and you stick to the grind, you’ll reap the rewards and the benefits.”"
In making the proclamation that he is 100 percent, Thomas just has to prove it on the field, which he showed a flash of in the Saints joint practice against theLos Angeles Chargers.
Thomas worked against top defensive backs Derwin James and J.C. Jackson and neither of the two could match up against him. Encouraging news for Who Dat Nation as Thomas along with Olave have the talent to be one of the top wide receiver duos in the NFL.
It is because of Olave that Thomas will emerge as a productive target again in 2023. If what he’s been showing in camp and joint practices are any indication, opposing secondaries will have to pick their poison between Olave and Thomas.
That makes Michael Thomas one of the NFL’s top offensive X-factors this upcoming season.