This isn’t what the Saints needed ahead of their pivotal Monday Night Football date with the Chargers. Star receiver Michael Thomas won’t be playing, and it’s not because of his ankle injury.
Thomas had an altercation with a teammate at practice this weekend and the Saints are sitting him as discipline, sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Thomas punched safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson during a fight, sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Thomas apparently got into the altercation on Friday and was told to leave practice, according to a tweet from Josina Anderson of ESPN. Thomas then met with head coach Sean Payton on Sunday, where he was fined for conduct detrimental to the team and told he wouldn’t be playing Monday.
Anderson added that Thomas is expected to rejoin the team sometime next week. It’s been a frustrating campaign for the superstar, as he suffered a high ankle sprain in New Orleans’ Week 1 win over the Buccaneers. Drew Brees hasn’t looked his sharpest this season as the team has started 2-2, and this certainly isn’t what the offense needed to get back on track.
The Saints are favorites of about a touchdown against Los Angeles, so maybe they feel confident they can get by them even without their top receiver. Thomas had practiced this week and while it wasn’t certain, it was looking like he was set to make his return prior to these developments. Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders will continue holding down the fort. Hopefully for Saints fans this isn’t a sign of any further locker room issues.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.