Last week, the Saints placed wide receiver Michael Thomas on injured reserve with an ankle injury that has been plaguing him all season long.
Because the IR rules changed for 2020, Thomas will be back for the playoffs. As head coach Sean Payton explained on Tuesday, the Saints made the move to allow Thomas time to heal.
“He was grinding and productive, catching eight balls, nine balls, but it wasn’t going to get better until football stopped just by the nature of the ankle sprain,” Payton said, via Luke Johnson of the New Orleans Advocate. “If it was win this one and you’re in, then our approach would’ve been much different.”
Thomas has 40 receptions for 438 yards in seven games this season, a year after setting an NFL record with 149 catches and leading the league with 1,725 yards receiving. The Saints have already clinched a playoff berth, so getting a healthy Thomas back for the postseason could set up the team for a January run.