New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is set to test his injured ankle in practice on Wednesday, opening the possibility he will play in Sunday’s NFC wildcard game against the Chicago Bears.
Head coach Sean Payton plans a cautious approach with Thomas, with the expectation he will be limited to side work with trainers for at least the first two practices this week.
Thomas was placed on injured reserve to allow his high ankle sprain to heal. The ankle has been problematic since midseason for Thomas, a 2019 All-Pro who had 149 receptions a year ago.
Thomas had 40 receptions in 2020.
“Currently he’s still on reserve-injured. I know he’s been working at it. But we’ll get a better feel this week how he’s progressing,” Payton said Wednesday.
The Saints are 9.5-point favorites over the visiting Bears in a rematch of their Nov. 2 overtime game at Soldier Field. The Saints won that game, 26-23, but blew a 10-point lead.
Thomas did not play in that game and last took the field Dec. 13.
His long reception this season was just 24 yards. Last season, he had at least a 24-yard gain in 12 games, including the wildcard loss to the Vikings.