Saints WR Michael Thomas Ruled Out vs. Panthers

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The Saints will be without star wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring) against the Panthers on Sunday.

New Orleans released its injury report on Friday and also ruled out center Nick Easton (concussion). 

Thomas's status for Sunday was up in the air this week after he recently injured his hamstring in practice

The three-time Pro Bowler has not played since Week 1 when he suffered a high-ankle sprain. He was ruled out against the Chargers in Week 5 after a reported fight during practice when he punched teammate C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

Week 6 would have given Thomas a chance to continue to heal since the team had a bye.

Head coach Sean Payton announced on Wednesday that Thomas's discipline would only last one game, and if healthy, the wide receiver could return against the Panthers. The latest Saints practice report listed him as limited in Wednesday's practice due to his ankle and hamstring. However, on Thursday, Thomas was not present during the open portion of practice.

It remains unknown when Thomas suffered the hamstring injury, but he tweeted on Oct. 13 that he had a setback. 

Thomas was expected to be one of the best wide receivers in the league this year after his record-breaking season in 2019, where he set the single-year mark for receptions (149) and leading the league in receiving yards (1,725). The 27-year-old has only tallied three catches for 17 yards this year. 

The Saints also added wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and cornerback Ken Crawley to the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday. Payton confirmed that Sanders tested positive for COVID-19 and knows how he got the virus at home. New Orleans did contact tracing with 20 members who tested negative, but the team will add Crawley to the list because of close contact with Sanders.