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Saints star Michael Thomas out for Week 8 vs. Bears

Michael Thomas, Saints

The New Orleans Saints believed they could get star wide receiver Michael Thomas back for a Week 8 matchup with the Chicago Bears.

Thomas practiced Thursday, which seemed to indicate he was tracking towards “Active” status for Sunday’s game.

However, the Saints announced Friday that Thomas is out once again.

The 2020 season has been immensely frustrating for Thomas.

The All-Pro suffered a high ankle sprain in a Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he has not played since.

Thomas was beginning to make progress on the ankle when he got into a fight with Saints defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in practice. The 27-year-old then picked up a hamstring issue, which now seems to be the primary reason for why he remains sidelined.

The Saints have managed to chug along despite Thomas’ absence. New Orleans has won three games in a row, putting up over 400 yards of total offense in back-to-back victories over the Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers, respectively.

However, Chicago’s defense should pose a tougher test for Drew Brees and Co.

The Bears’ defensive unit ranks sixth in the NFL in terms of defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA), per Football Outsiders. Chicago also ranks eighth in the league in passing yards allowed.

Expect the Bears to give quite a bit of attention to Emmanuel Sanders with Thomas on the sidelines. Sanders has become the focal point of the Saints’ passing game, with 18 combined receptions for 215 yards in the last two games.

New Orleans will hope to sustain its momentum this weekend, but the Saints will have to truck on without their No. 1 receiver yet again.