New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was placed on the Injured Reserve list Wednesday after sustaining a knee injury on the first play of a Week 10 game against the Vikings. Thomas watched the rest of the contest from the sidelines but reportedly needs at least several weeks to recover.

Though Thomas could return later this season, the injury is just the latest for the veteran wide receiver. Once a star player by any standard, he has not managed to play a full season since 2019 and is now the second passing option in New Orleans behind Chris Olave. Despite playing for nearly the entirety of his first four seasons, he has spent more time on the sidelines in the last four.

“I think we’re all on the same page in terms of where we’re at,” Saints head coach Dennis Allen said about the team’s updated timeline for Thomas.

The receiver is not the only Saints player who will miss time, as star cornerback Marshon Lattimore was also placed on the IR list with an ankle injury.

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Like Thomas, Lattimore was injured in the Vikings game and took the bye week to treat the injury. But team personnel did not feel that either player was on track to return and decided to put them on the shelf.

The Saints’ most recent slate of injuries could damage their prospects going forward, but the team has already played through similar situations. For most of the season, the team has alternated between quarterbacks Derek Carr and Jameis Winston, with Carr injured at several points. Through it all, New Orleans still earned a 5-5 record and currently sits atop a very weak NFC South division.

“We’ve been a little bit of a tale of two teams in that the first part of the season, we struggled offensively, the first five games and defensively played pretty well,” Allen said earlier this week. “That’s flipped a little bit over the last five weeks. … We need to get back to playing the type of defense that we played earlier in the season.”

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