Saints put WR Michael Thomas on IR and he will undergo surgery

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has been put on injured reserve, head coach Dennis Allen said Thursday.

Thomas dislocated the second toe of his right foot in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers and has not returned to the field. The team was initially optimistic Thomas could rest the injury for three or four weeks and return, but instead Thomas will have surgery.

He likely won't return for the rest of the season, or at least Allen does not expect him back this year, he told reporters.

After team doctors reviewed a recent MRI, Allen said, “The toe did not respond how we were hoping. … It hadn’t healed the way everybody was kind of hoping that it would.”

This is a huge blow for Thomas, who did not play for nearly two years because of a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 1 of the 2020 season. Thomas tried to play on the ankle after missing six games, but went on injured reserve in the middle of December.

Thomas encountered an onslaught of obstacles while attempting to recover from the ankle injury, even sustaining a hamstring injury during rehab and bumping heads with then-head coach Sean Payton about the surgery he eventually underwent.

Thomas called his summer 2022 return to the field "a blessing." His ankle injury seemed to finally be in the past in September, when he played for the first time in 21 months, scoring two touchdowns in a victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.

Thomas recorded 16 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns in three games this season. He will most likely look to return to the field in the spring.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 11: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 27-26 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas recorded 16 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns in three games this season. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) (Todd Kirkland via Getty Images)