METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints top receiver Michael Thomas returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since injuring his ankle in New Orleans’ season-opening victory over Tampa Bay on Sept. 13.
The Saints, who visit Detroit on Sunday, have lost both games Thomas has missed, falling to 1-2 and into second place in the NFC South Division.
Thomas, who has been named All-Pro the past two seasons, set an NFL single season record in 2019 with 149 catches. His 1,725 yards receiving led the Saints last season, while his nine touchdowns receiving tied for the team lead with versatile running back Alvin Kamara.
While Saints coach Sean Payton has yet to say if Thomas is on schedule to play in Week 4, the fifth year receiver ran through drills with a noticeable bounce in his step during the brief portion of practice open to media.
When he was running passing routes, Thomas sprinted off the line of scrimmage and cut hard laterally in either direction. In between, he often danced to the music amplified throughout the Saints’ indoor field.
Thomas injury occurred when running back Latavius Murray was tackled into the back of his leg by Tampa Bay defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. late in the fourth quarter of the Saints’ 34-23 victory in Week 1.
Before the injury, Thomas had just three catches, his fewest in a game since the fifth game of the 2017 season, which was also a career single-game low.
Several starters were not on the field during the portion of practice open to reporters, including tight end Jared Cook, left tackle Terron Armstead and left guard Andrus Peat.
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