By John DeShazier
New Orleans Saints
Michael Thomas looks ready.
Michael Thomas has looked ready for a couple of weeks.
Michael Thomas looks ready for the NFL regular season to begin, because the New Orleans Saints receiver very much in practice has looked like the receiver who was an All-Pro and NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2019, the last season he was healthy.
Except, Thomas says he isn’t quite ready just yet.
“I definitely say personally still getting there,” he said Wednesday, following the second day of two joint practices against Green Bay heading into Friday’s preseason game against the Packers at Lambeau Field. “But always try to play like nothing happened and put it behind you, and just put your foot in the ground and go hard, Point A to Point B. Try to always just play hard, play with a lot of effort, play to the whistle so that none of those things show up.”
All due respect to Thomas’ self-evaluation, those things – an ankle injury, two surgeries and rehabilitation that cost him most of 2020 and all of ’21 – have all but disintegrated.
“When the ball kicks off for real, Mike Thomas is going to be ready to go,” Coach Dennis Allen said. “And I’m excited about that.
“I think he looks great. I thought he looked a little better today than (Tuesday). When I watch Michael Thomas out at practice, I see Michael Thomas that I saw pre-injury. I see a big, strong, physical wide receiver that makes a ton of contested catches. I saw it in these practices. I kind of see a guy that looks pretty good.”
“Mike is gonna be Mike,” cornerback Marshon Lattimore said. “I’m glad I have him back out there. Him being injured, he was away from the team, just having him back out there, having his energy out there and everything brings everything back to the offense that we need.
“Strong. He’s strong. Catch point, whatever, he’s just strong. He plays bigger than what he is.”