Will The Saints WR Be On The Field In Week 5?

We are now entering the fifth week of the 2022 NFL season, and daily practice reports are becoming longer and longer as injury updates pour in. So, what’s the latest Michael Thomas injury update knowing that he did not play in Week 4 due to a toe injury? Should fantasy football managers be prepared to be without him for another week?

Michael Thomas Injury Update

It’s been a wild ride for the New Orleans Saints WR these past two years. His ankle injury kept him out of half the 2020 season and all of 2021. While rehabbing the injury over the summer of 2022, Thomas tweaked his hamstring. Fortunately, that took care of itself by Week 1.

Unfortunately, Thomas’ run of health lasted just three weeks. During Week 3, Thomas hurt his toe. He did not practice at all ahead of the Saints’ London game and missed Week 4.

To open Week 5, Thomas remained absent from practice on Wednesday. While Wednesday practices have become largely meaningless over the years, seeing injured players return in any capacity bodes extremely well for their chances of playing. Thomas’ absence places his Week 5 status in question.

Thomas not practicing Wednesday is not a death knell for his game status. But it’s certainly not encouraging. If Thomas does not return to at least a limited practice on Thursday, he will officially be trending in the wrong direction. It goes without saying that three straight DNPs would almost certainly result in the Saints ruling him out for Sunday.

Chris Olave has stepped up in Michael Thomas’ absence

This year’s rookie wide receiver class might be the best we’ve seen since 2014. Chris Olave opened the season as the WR3 behind Thomas and Jarvis Landry, but that didn’t last long. By Week 2, Olave looked like the Saints’ WR2. Now, he’s the clear WR1 with Thomas sidelined.

After a lackluster Week 1, Olave has been an absolute stud the past three weeks. He’s totaled at least 80 receiving yards or scored a touchdown in every game. Jameis Winston threw the ball in Olave’s direction 13 times each in Weeks 2 and 3. Andy Dalton targeted Olave seven times in Week 4.

MORE: Week 5 Fantasy Injury Report

Olave’s fantasy value will undoubtedly take a hit upon Thomas’ return. But until that happens, Olave is locked in as a WR2. He is a must-start this week if Thomas can’t play. And he’s worth starting as a WR3 even if Thomas does return.

Will Thomas play this Sunday?

Of course, we can’t make any definitive statements regarding Thomas’ status on Wednesday or Thursday. All we can do is take the information we have and make educated guesses.

If we don’t see Thomas return to a limited practice on Thursday, fantasy managers should prepare to be without him in Week 5.

There will still be a chance for Thomas to return to practice on Friday. Unfortunately, history is not on Thomas’ side. When players have already missed games, it’s exceedingly rare that they return to action following a week with nothing more than a lone limited practice on a Friday.

If and when Thomas is recovered, he will almost certainly get in practices on both Thursday and Friday. Check back with us for an update on the Saints’ Thursday practice, as well as on Friday for the latest injury status. It will be very revealing as to whether Thomas’ injury will keep him out of another game.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here.

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