Saints receiver Michael Thomas going on injured reserve

FILE - New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) is seen before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in New Orleans. The Saints have decided to place receiver Michael Thomas on injured reserve because of a dislocated toe that has not responded well to rehab, coach Dennis Allen said Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Saints have decided to place receiver Michael Thomas on injured reserve because of a dislocated toe that has not responded well to rehab, coach Dennis Allen said Thursday.

While Allen declined to get into specific timelines for Thomas' recovery, he added, ''I don't anticipate that he'll be able to return this year.''

The decision means Thomas will have missed most of three seasons since his five-year, $96 million extension went into effect in 2020.

After Thomas missed more than half of 2020 and all of 2021 because of complications related to ankle surgery, the Saints had hoped the seventh-year pro out of Ohio State would return to his All-Pro form of 2019, when he set an NFL record with 149 catches and finished that season with 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns.

Instead, Thomas played in just three games this season, catching 16 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns.

Thomas had missed the Saints' past five games. Allen said Thomas worked hard to rehabilitate the injury in hopes of coming back this season and avoiding surgery.

''It hasn't healed the way everybody was kind of hoping that it would,'' Allen said, adding that Thomas and the team have decided surgery would indeed be best at this time.

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