Michael Thomas took to Twitter to release a statement, revealing that his setback is severe enough that it will keep him out for the rest of the year.
Just two years removed from a historic 2019 campaign, with an NFL record of 149 receptions and a league-high 1,725 yards, Thomas won't take a snap in all of 2021.
Amid a whole lot of Odell Beckham Jr. buzz leading up to Tuesday's trade deadline, some Saints fans envisioned a second half of the season in which the fearsome duo of OBJ and a healthy Michael Thomas ran all over the field for New Orleans.
Now, a day later, Beckham Jr. is firmly entrenched in Cleveland — at least for the rest of the 2021 season — and the latest news on Thomas seems to indicate that we might not see him at Caesars Superdome a while longer, either.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on "Good Morning Football," Thomas is having more injury problems — though not from the same issue that had been ailing him before.
"He is dealing with a new and separate ankle injury. Remember he had ankle surgery this spring that put him on the sidelines for the beginning of the season," Rapoport said. "He now has a new issue, and I'm told in the last couple days he saw a specialist to try to ascertain when is he going to be back and what issues, in fact, need to be fixed."
New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton was another reported target for the Saints, though it obviously didn't come to fruition as the deadline has come and gone.
Now, along with losing quarterback Jameis Winston for the season — which may help or hurt the Saints, to be fair — they'll have to continue with the receiving corps they've been using in recent weeks for the foreseeable future. In Week 8, that unit was led by Deonte Harris, who had three catches for 35 yards on seven targets — a stat line that looks eerily similar to his fellow wideouts. Marquez Callaway? Five targets, three catches, 30 yards. Tre'Quan Smith? Three targets, three catches, 33 yards. Kevin White? One target, one catch, 38 yards.
That's not to say none of the above names can explode for a big week, as some have already proven capable of doing just that, but lacking the star power of Thomas for an "unpredictable" amount of time isn't what Saints fans wanted to hear after the dull outcome of the team's deadline efforts.