NFL News: Saints' Michael Thomas Comments On Returning To Field

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Tristin McKinstry

It has been 18 months since New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has graced an NFL field. And the pass catcher's return to the field on Wednesday was an emotional one.

Thomas returned to the field for the first time since 2020 due to complications around an ankle injury. He participated in every drill in practice except full team drills.

While no timetable has been offered for when the 29-year-old will be 100% again, Thomas has opened up about his thoughts about being on the field again.

"It Was A Blessing"

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Thomas told reporters that he wanted to remain level-headed and take emotion out of it. However, he says his emotions caught up with him when he stepped onto the field.

"Man, I'm kind of lost for words," Thomas told reporters Wednesday via ESPN. "I didn't want to come up here and get emotional or anything. But it was a blessing to be back out there with the guys."

Other Experiences

One thing Thomas did during his recovery was speaking to other athletes who had gone through something similar. He specifically mentioned Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, among others.

"I mean, even the year that I played [a total of nine games in 2020], I was playing injured, and I was still kind of helping this team win games and move the chains. And I was clearly on one ankle," Thomas said.

"I'm just happy to be trending now in the right direction and handling my business. ... And I take pride in that challenge."

Battling Adversity

Thomas is aware that he will be and has previously battled adversity. However, he isn't shying away from it. If anything, he is embracing it.

"Everybody loves somebody that comes back from adversity. I feel like a lot of people in this world can learn from that," Thomas said. "It's better to have some adversity than not have some adversity, just to show how you respond. I think it shows a lot of character, it shows the type of man you are.

"And, I mean, I love playing football."

Looking Good

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Saints head coach Dennis Allen spoke to reporters following Wednesday's practice and seemed impressed with where his receiver is at this current juncture.

"I thought he looked good," Allen said. "I think we've still got to be smart with him as we go throughout training camp. But I thought it was a good start, having him out there on the first day. I was excited about seeing No. 13 walk out on the field.

"Listen, Mike Thomas wants to be out here. He wants to help this team win games. And that's his whole mindset and his whole purpose. And he's extremely driven to do that. And I think this was a good step in the right direction."