While Thomas has been dealing with an ankle injury that saw him miss Week 4 against the Detroit Lions, the Saints said the wide receiver's designation is not injury-related. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network noted the team said Thomas will miss the game for "disciplinary reasons."
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Thomas is being disciplined after being involved in an altercation with a teammate over the weekend. Pelissero added Thomas punched teammate Chauncey Gardner-Johnson during a fight at practice.
Albert Breer of the Monday Morning Quarterback provided further details:
Albert Breer @AlbertBreer
Per sources, the altercation b/w Saints WR Mike Thomas and DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson came during a 5-play red-zone period yesterday at practice. MT didn't like how CGJ was covering him, they jawed, couple snaps later Thomas threw a punch. CGJ was wearing a helmet at the time.
The 27-year-old had a record-breaking season in 2019, setting the single-year mark for receptions (149) while leading the league in receiving yards (1,725).
However, his fortunes have taken a turn in 2020, and he suffered a high ankle sprain in the Saints' Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that caused him to miss the team's next four games—Monday included.
Thomas' absence raised questions about whether Drew Brees is finally starting to show his age. The 41-year-old missed five games in 2019 but has largely avoided any sort of decline.
Through four games, the veteran quarterback has thrown for 1,006 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions, production somewhat below his usual standards. That isn't necessarily surprising when New Orleans has had to count on Alvin Kamara to be its leading receiver without Thomas.
Having the two-time All-Pro out for another game is a big blow for the Saints as they appear destined for a tight battle with the Bucs for the NFC South title.