New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas expected to be ready for training camp, coach Dennis Allen says;  Jameis Winston already on the pitch

New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas expected to be ready for training camp, coach Dennis Allen says; Jameis Winston already on the pitch

Receiver Michael Thomas is not yet participating in the New Orleans Saints OTAs. But he should return from his ankle injury in time for training camp, according to coach Dennis Allen, and he is present and in rehabilitation with the team during the voluntary training period.

Meanwhile, quarterback Jameis Winston is already back on the training ground just seven months after tearing his ACL, as both offensive stalwarts return from major injuries.

Thomas, 29, missed the entire 2021 season with an ankle injury after delaying his first surgery to repair multiple ligaments until June – then suffered a setback in November that required a follow-up procedure. The 2019 NFL Offensive Player of the Year hasn’t been completely healthy since initially injuring his ankle in Week 1 of the 2020 season and missing a total of nine games this season- the.

“I think he’s doing well in his rehab. He’s not ready yet. But he’s here, he’s in rehab, he’s getting better. And we’re definitely looking forward to getting him out here. “, said Allen. “I know he’s working hard to recover. And we feel good where he is right now.”

When asked if Thomas would be ready for training camp, Allen replied, “That’s definitely our plan.”

“If I had a crystal ball and could tell you all these things, I’d probably make a lot more money and do something different,” Allen said. “But, yeah, we’re hoping he’ll be ready to go for training camp. So that’s what we’re looking for.”

Thomas’ presence at OTAs is notable as there was a lack of communication between the player and the team last spring – and then friction between the two parties after he opted to wait until June to have surgery.

But that tension seemed to have been defused at the start of last season. And Allen spoke positively about Thomas’ recovery and attitude this offseason, saying bringing him back with rookie receiver Chris Olave is like adding two first-round draft picks to the position.

When the Saints drafted Olave, Thomas immediately invited the former Ohio State compatriot to come stay with him and train with him for a few weeks at their joint base in Southern California.

The Saints also signed free agent receiver Jarvis Landry after the draft as they continue to revamp the NFL’s lowest-ranked passing offense from last season.

As for Winston, Allen warned that “we still have a long way to go to prepare him.” But he said: “I think he looks good. … We like the progress he’s making, we like where he’s at. And hopefully that continues.”

Given that OTAs are paddling and non-contact practices, it’s hard to gauge just how limited Winston is still. But Allen stressed the Saints would be smart with the 28-year-old’s schedule.

“Look, with the way he works and how hard he works, it doesn’t surprise me,” Allen said of what Winston has already done on the court. “I think we have to keep being smart about it, which I think we are. We’ll keep pushing for him to improve, but let’s try to be smart about it anyway.”

When Winston was asked if he felt ahead of schedule, he replied, “Good, good. I feel like I was way ahead of schedule.”

Winston said he was happy to take “full-speed reps while passing” the ball, but said he had just started running and hadn’t started running yet.

He’s hinted a few times that he’s been restricted by doctors’ advice and said he’s been feeling fine for months now. But he agrees there is “no reason to rush”.

“Let’s do it the right way…because we have time for it. I embrace this process and stick to protocol,” Winston said. “I’m excited and grateful. Every time I have the opportunity to step onto the pitch and work with my teammates, I’m going to take that opportunity.”

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