New Orleans Saints star wide receiver Michael Thomas, who is recovering from a right ankle injury that kept him out all of last year and most of 2020, returned to 11-on-11 drills in practice Saturday for the first time since the end of the 2020 campaign, per ESPN's Katherine Terrell.
Saints head coach Dennis Allen spoke with reporters afterward:
"Honestly there was a couple of times he ended up on the ground. That's all part of the process in building that confidence. I think he's in a good mindset right now, I think he looks good physically. I'm excited about where he's at."
Thomas played just seven games in 2020 and none at all in 2021. Per Terrell, Thomas suffered an injury during Week 1 of the 2020 season and hasn't been 100 percent since.
He had surgery to repair a torn deltoid and other injured ligaments in his ankle, which kept him out of the first half of the 2021 season.
Thomas was working on a comeback midseason, but he was ruled out for the entire year on Nov. 3 after suffering what he termed a "small setback" in his recovery.
The former Ohio State star was one of the most dominant wideouts in football over his first four seasons, which were capped by an NFL record 147 receptions in 2019. From 2016 to 2019, Thomas averaged 118 catches, 1,378 yards and eight touchdowns.
Thomas' timetable to return to game action isn't official, but seeing the superstar on the practice field is obviously a good sign. New Orleans opens the season Sept. 11 against the Atlanta Falcons.