The Saints enter their Wild Card matchup with the Bears as hefty favorites on Sunday, and New Orleans' offense should be getting a major boost in practice this week.
Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is expected to join the team's practice on Wednesday, placing him on track to return to the field on Sunday, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Thomas has played in just seven games this season due to an ankle injury, last appearing on the field in a Week 14 loss to the Eagles. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 19 in order to heal his ankle in preparation for the postseason, per Rapoport.
Thomas was the NFL's most dominant receiver in 2019. He led the league with 149 receptions for 1,725 yards, finding the end zone nine times. New Orleans missed Thomas in spurts throughout 2020, though Drew Brees and Taysom Hill combined to engineer the NFL's No. 5 scoring offense. The Saints finished the regular season at 12–4, winning the NFC South for the fourth straight year.
The Saints enter the postseason seeking their first Super Bowl appearance since 2009. They will host the Bears on Sunday, with kickoff slated for 4:40 p.m. ET.
Check out the latest news and notes from around the NFL:
- The Texans did not request an interview with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their head coaching vacancy. (Adam Schefter, ESPN)
- The Jets completed an interview with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their head coaching vacancy. (Team announcement)
- Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed for the Jaguars head coaching vacancy. (Adam Schefter, ESPN)
- Chan Gailey has resigned as Miami's offensive coordinator. (Team announcement)
- A Titans' trainer has tested positive for COVID-19, though Tennessee's building remains open as the team conducts contact tracing. (Adam Schefter, ESPN)
- Texans players didn't want to play with safety Earl Thomas after his release from Baltimore. (Michael-Shawn Dugar, Jayson Jenks, Mike Sando and Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic)
- The Falcons will interview Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles for their head coach vacancy. (Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk)
- Dave Gettleman will be retained as the Giants general manager. (Jordan Raanan, ESPN)
- The Chargers have requested permission to interview 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for their head coach vacancy. (Adam Schefter, ESPN)
- The Texans, Chargers and Falcons are expected to interview Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady for their head coaching vacancies. (Ian Rapoport, NFL Network)