There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the New Orleans Saints over the last couple of weeks for two reasons:

  1. The return of wide receiver Michael Thomas (who looks like his old self).
  2. The barrage of injuries the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have suffered during training camp.

Unfortunately for the Saints, reason No. 1 got a reality check on Sunday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Thomas, who hasn’t played since the 2020 NFL playoffs, is dealing with a hamstring issue and missed practice on Sunday.

It’s likely that New Orleans is just being cautious with Thomas (as they should be), but this is a reminder that counting on a player who hasn’t played in well over a year is a risky strategy.

Thomas has to prove he can stay healthy in 2022. And having a hamstring issue pop up less than a month before the season starts isn’t ideal. Those hamstring issues tend to linger, so the Saints will have to be extremely careful with the former Pro-Bowler as he works his way back to game action.

I’m still bullish on New Orleans this year — their defense has the potential to be elite. But the offense is going to have to play to its potential for the Saints to have a chance this season. Thomas is a big part of that which is why this hamstring news is concerning.

We’ll see how this plays out in the coming days/weeks. For now, I don’t think New Orleans should freak out, but the situation is certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Featured image via Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports