METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas says he won’t be able to play this season because of complications related to his offseason ankle surgery.
Saints coach Sean Payton said Thomas will need an additional procedure, but he also said the setback had nothing to do with the receiver’s approach to his recovery and credited his work ethic during his rehabilitation.
“He’s having complications with the current surgery that was done,” Payton said. “I know he’s working his tail off to get back out there.”
Thomas posted comments about his setback on social media Wednesday as well.
“The team and I have worked diligently, day and night to rehab and get me back on the field,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately, there has been another small setback which we will have to address. To my displeasure, I will not be able to make it back in time for this season but will do everything in my power to get back to the player I have always been.”
Two seasons ago, Thomas set an NFL single-season record with 149 catches. He finished that season with 1,725 yards and nine receiving touchdowns.
But last season he hurt his ankle late in Week 1 when he was rolled up on from behind by then-Saints running back Latavius Murray, who was tackled into Thomas while the receiver was blocking.
Thomas tried to play through the injury but missed nine games.
He initially hoped to recover without surgery until it became evident last summer that he would not, and he had surgery, forcing the team to place him on its physically unable to perform list to start the season.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted that the Saints had made an attempt to bolster their offence with Giants wideout Darius Slayton as one of the potential targets but they couldn't pull the trigger on a deal prior to Tuesday's NFL trade deadline.
New Orleans remains in a playoff position with a 5-2 record after an impressive victory over their division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They will be without quarterback Jameis Winston who will also be out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL but are expecting to have Taysom Hill return from concussion protocol.