What will Saints do offensively without Michael Thomas?

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It became obvious from the moment Saints running back Alvin Kamara fell onto the leg of Saints receiver Michael Thomas that Thomas had an ankle injury. It’s a high-ankle sprain, and Thomas reportedly will miss time.

So what happens to the Saints Offense without Thomas?

The unofficial (and thus worthless) depth chart doesn’t shed much light on how things will look. Undrafted rookie Marquez Callaway is listed as the understudy to Thomas. But Callaway did much more as a return specialist than as a receiver at Tennessee, catching 92 passes in 42 games.

The more likely reality is that players like tight end Jared Cook, running back Alvin Kamara, and running back (and former receiver) Ty Montgomery will be used more in the passing game, especially as it relates to the fact that Thomas has been lining up roughly 25 percent of the time in the slot.

The Saints also have Taysom Hill, who can line up anywhere and everywhere. Given the money they’re paying him, they need to use him.

However it plays out, coach Sean Payton remains one of the greatest offensive masterminds in NFL history. He’ll find a way to move the chains and score points, even without one of the best receivers in the game on the field.

18 responses to “What will Saints do offensively without Michael Thomas?

  1. Saints offense will be fine, as long as the guys can execute the plays that coach Payton draws up (they will) and QB Brees can hit them with a good ball (he can)

  2. The dependability of Trequan Smith remains a question mark. Hopefully a good rapport between Brees and Emmanuel Sanders has been established. Deonte Harris is playing a larger role in the offense. Maybe opportunity for Lil Jordan Humphrey or Bennie Fowler to advance,but it appears the team has plenty enough options on the active roster to compensate. It may also light a fire under Sean Peyton dial up his play calling creativity.

  3. This article makes it sound like outside of Thomas and Callaway there are not other receivers on the team. Pretty sure I saw Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith running around out there on Sunday. Are they not receivers?

  4. “The Saints also have Taysom Hill, who can line up anywhere and everywhere. Given the money they’re paying him, they need to use him.”

    That sounds good in theory but in practice guys like Hill are best in small doses because the surprise factor is crucial to their effectiveness. It’d be like looking back at some great fake punt and deciding you need to start calling that all the time like it would just keep steadily working no matter how often you ran it.

  5. Great QB’s don’t need great WR’s. They’re just a luxury. Was Michael Thomas around when Brees won his super bowl? Tom Brady has six rings, and Randy Moss wasn’t on any of those teams. Going back farther, Joe Montana won his first two super bowls without Jerry Rice, including their best season, 1984 when they went 18-1. A better question would be how well Thomas would play without Brees. Thomas gets the ball put right in his hands, even when he doesn’t get any separation. A lot of QB’s wouldn’t even attempt to make those throws. Don’t get me wrong, I love Michael Thomas. Hope the big guy gets healthy soon. There are exceptions to every rule. I’m waiting to see how Watson does without Hopkins. That’s one case where the WR made the QB better, but that’s a rare exception. Hopkins is a bad ball catcher, and he kept drives alive making lots of difficult catches on poorly placed passes.

  6. Taysom Hill, Taysom Hill, Taysom Hill — the NFL and Saints fans are obsessed with that guy. He’s not a WR.

  7. I believe the Saints have enough firepower in their arsenal with receivers, tight ends and running backs to overcome the Raiders. Thank goodness they’re not playing Tampa Bay’s defense this week.

  8. “Thank goodness they’re not playing Tampa Bay’s defense this week.”
    Thomas wasn’t a factor in this weeks game and they managed just fine.

  9. Michael Thomas is a possession WR or X. OBJ is a Z or speed WR. Someone mentions Randy Moss but Moss like OBJ is a Z. Sanders has experience in playing X, and Smith does also even though they are both Z. Callaway is a true X but Montgomery will allow the Saints more freedom at slot, Sanders at X and Smith at Z.

  10. Sean Payton should put Hill in on every offensive possession. Whether he’s a decoy or route runner, it puts a lot of stress on the defense. Mike Thomas is out for several weeks. Give T. Hill his snaps. And, when Hill is lining up as QB., please take Brees off the field. Nothing good can happen with Brees lining up wide as a decoy.

    The more the Saints put Hill on the field for offense; the better chance the Saints will have at winning.

  11. With no discernible pass rush and a very young secondary, the Raiders aren’t going to be able to do much against that offense, with or without Thomas.

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