Saints' Michael Thomas Ruled out vs. Panthers Because of Hamstring Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2020

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) works against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
John Amis/Associated Press

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will miss his fifth straight game this week due to a hamstring injury.

The team officially ruled Thomas out for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers

This marks the second time the 27-year-old has dealt with an injury this season, after he previously missed three games after suffering a high ankle sprain.

This season, Thomas has registered 17 yards on three receptions in his lone appearance in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While 2020 has been a frustrating year for the Ohio State product in terms of injuries, there is no question that he is one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL when healthy.

Entering this season, Thomas had finished with at least 1,100 receiving yards in each of his first four NFL campaigns.

The 2016 second-round pick was especially dominant in 2018 and 2019, when he was named a first-team All-Pro in each season. After leading the league with 125 receptions to go along with 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018, he set a single-season NFL record with 149 receptions last season.

Thomas also led the league with 1,725 receiving yards and finished with nine receiving touchdowns in a season for the third time in his career.

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Ever since entering the NFL, he has been quarterback Drew Brees' go-to option in the passing game, and the New Orleans offense is far less potent without him in the lineup.

That much was clear earlier this season when he was out and the veteran signal-caller opted to primarily throw short passes to running back Alvin Kamara rather than taking shots down the field.

If Thomas misses additional time, it stands to reason that Kamara will again become Brees' No. 1 target. Aside from Kamara, wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith should have an increased role as well.

Tight end Jared Cook also figures to become an even bigger part of the offense until Thomas gets back into the lineup.