NEW ORLEANS – Michael Thomas’ first touchdown catch of the season paid off. Thomas caught an 11-yard TD pass from Drew Brees to give the New Orleans Saints a 7-0 lead over the Chicago Bears. In the first quarter of their wildcard matchup on Sunday, it was still 5-9.
Thomas played seven games that season because of a nagging ankle injury sustained in Week 1. He returned from injured reserve this week after the Saints (12-4) decided to rest him for the last three regular season games to try and get him as close to 100% as possible for the playoffs.
It didn’t take long for Thomas to take effect. He caught a 5-yard pass for the Saints’ first game after the scrimmage and a 13-yard pass to convert to a third-and-5 pass two games later.
WR Michael Thomas with his first TD of the seasonpic.twitter.com/3oyTbFR
– New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 10, 2021
These were Thomas von Brees’ first two catches since week 10, as Brees himself paused from weeks 11-14 with a lung puncture and 11 broken ribs. The dynamic duo of Saints only played 10 quarters together for the entire season.
Named NFL Offensive Player of the Year last season after breaking a league record with 149 catches, Thomas has had just 40 receptions for 438 yards without touchdowns in seven games that season. However, he had three games of at least eight catches and two games of more than 100 receiving yards while Taysom Hill was at the quarterback from weeks 11-14.
The Saints running back Alvin Kamara have also made an early impression after getting off the reserve / COVID-19 list in time for Sunday’s game. Kamara had four carrying bags for 21 yards during the Saints’ first two possessions.