Michael Thomas’ ankle sprain worse than initial feared

Michael Thomas could be out several weeks for the Saints

Thomas was playing in garbage time for the Saints, and had the back of his ankle stepped on by a teammate in an awkward injury. None of that is necessarily Sean Payton’s fault, but it’s another reminder that style points aren’t necessary, even against a division rival.

The Ohio State alum could be out several weeks after his initial prognosis suggested he could play as early as Sunday. The Saints offense minus Thomas will rely heavily on Alvin Kamara and recent free agent signee Emmanuel Sanders. Thomas catches anything near his vicinity, and is Drew Brees’ No. 1 target for a reason.

Brees and the Saints must alter their game-plan without Thomas

Without Thomas for several weeks, Brees short passing game will take a major hit. While he spent time this offseason working on his arm strength with a guru of sorts, Brees is still nearing the end of his career. He’s over 40, and is lacking the deep-throwing ability he once had. That much was obvious this past Sunday in the Saints win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Saints have a few options with Thomas, the first of which is to place him on injured reserve. Given the new NFL rules, Thomas would have to miss just three games if placed on IR, and it opens up another roster spot for New Orleans should they want to signed a wide receiver to replace him short-term, or add a weapon off the practice squad.

New Orleans faces the Raiders, Packers and Lions the next three weeks. Two of those are winnable, while a trip to Green Bay looks rather strenuous without Thomas in Brees’ arsenal.

Next: Saints defense deserves more credit for shutting down Tom Brady

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