NFL News: Michael Thomas Won't Be Ready For OTAs, Jameis Winston Keeps Impressing

Michael Thomas
Wikimedia | LaDanian1000000

Ernesto Cova

The New Orleans Saints will kick start the post-Sean Payton era in 2022. Dennis Allen will take the reins but kept multiple people around, including OC Pete Carmichel to make this a smooth transition.

Needless to say, one of the biggest points of emphasis will be getting Michael Thomas back on the field and involved in the offense after missing the entire 2021 NFL season with an injury.

Thomas Is Making Progress, Says HC

Michael Thomas
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Unfortunately, Thomas is still a ways away from being on the field. He didn't participate in OTAs but will be back by the start of the season:

“I’m good with where Mike Thomas is,” Allen said. “I would much rather him be 100 percent healthy and out here and all those kinds of things, but that’s not where we’re at right now. He is busting his tail to get himself ready to go, and I feel like he’s making significant progress."

He's In A Good Place Mentally

Michael Thomas
Giphy | New Orleans Saints

Thomas is a key part of the offense and such a long layoff can take a big toll on any player's character. However, Allen claims he's mentally ok and will just be patient until he's ready to be back on the field:

"I think mentally he’s in a great place and, again, we’re just going to let that process play out and get him healthy," Allen added. "And look, we have a long time to go before we play a game. I’m not looking for a huge jump, I just want to see him keep getting a little better every day.”

Winston Impressed Andy Dalton

Jameis Winston
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Another injured player looking for revenge this season is Jameis Winston, who missed most of the year with an ACL injury. The Saints brought Andy Dalton to back him up, and the former Bengals star has been quite impressed by his work ethic and talent:

“Jameis has been great. I’ve followed him from afar, but now coming here, just to see how he works, and how important it is for him. It’s been a lot of fun for me to see. He does everything the right way, and it’s been a lot of fun being a part of that," Dalton said. "Coming in, you don’t know what to expect, what the room is going to be like, what the atmosphere is going to be like, and he’s been very accepting of me coming into the room. I’m really impressed with how he goes about his business every single day.”

The Saints Are A Big Question Mark

New Orleans Saints
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The Saints were one of the biggest winners of the offseason, signing Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry and also drafting Chris Olave. However, losing one of the best coaches in the league makes people wonder whether they'll be good or not next season.

Aside from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they should have little-to-no trouble in their division. But it's hard to make predictions given their current circumstances.