New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas continued his recovery from a left ankle injury by competing in 11-on-11 drills Saturday for the first time since the 2020 season.
Thomas missed the entire 2021 season after surgery on the ankle. He initially hurt it during the 2020 season opener and was limited to seven games.
The three-time Pro Bowler is ramping up his conditioning and looking to improve the strength in the ankle.
Saints coach Dennis Allen can see the progress.
“Honestly there was a couple of times he ended up on the ground,” Allen told reporters on Saturday. “That’s all part of the process in building that confidence. I think he’s in a good mindset right now, I think he looks good physically. I’m excited about where he’s at.”
Thomas was named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 after setting the league’s single-season record with 149 receptions. He also had 1,725 yards and nine touchdown catches that season.
Overall, Thomas has 510 receptions for 5,950 yards and 32 touchdowns in 70 games (62 starts) over five seasons.
Three-time Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu (personal reasons) also appeared in 11-on-11 drills for the first time during training camp.
“That was cool to see,” Allen said of Mathieu. “I was excited about getting him out here. We’ve kind of held the reins back on him, our decision more so that it’s been his. It’s part of the ramp-up process, so we’ll continue to ramp him up.”
Also, linebacker Kiko Alonso was a no-show at Saturday’s practice with multiple reports indicating he has decided to retire.
Alonso, who will turn 32 on Aug. 14, officially signed with the Saints on Friday after missing the previous two seasons due to injuries.
In 86 career games (67 starts) with the Buffalo Bills (2013), Philadelphia Eagles (2015), Miami Dolphins (2016-18) and New Orleans, Alonso had 588 tackles, 10 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and three sacks.