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Michael Thomas opens Saints' scoring vs. Bears with first TD since 2019

Jason Owens
·1-min read

After a record-setting 2019 season, 2020 was a bust for Michael Thomas.

The New Orleans Saints All-Pro receiver followed up his 149-catch, 1,725-yard campaign last season with 40 catches for 480 yards and no scores in an injury-hampered 2020.

But he’s back Sunday to start the most important part of the season and made an immediate impact in his first action since an ankle injury landed him on injured reserve after Week 7.

Just like old times for Brees, Thomas

With the Saints and Chicago Bears scoreless in the first quarter, Drew Brees led the Saints offense on first-and-10 at the Chicago 11-yard line. He took the snap under center, dropped back and found Thomas sitting in a tight window in the Bears zone at the five-yard line.

Michael Thomas #13, Adam Trautman #82 , and Latavius Murray #28 of the New Orleans Saints celebrate following Thomas' 11-yard touchdown during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 10, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas and the Saints are getting healthy at the right time. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Thomas corralled the short pass and eluded the grasp of three Bears defenders to dive into the end zone to give the Saints an early 7-0 lead.

Saints get key players back

The first touchdown of the game was also Thomas’ first since 2019. The last time Thomas found the end zone was in Week 16 of the 2019 season, his ninth that year in a 38-28 win over the Titans.

Thomas’ return is a boon for the Saints, who also got Alvin Kamara back on Sunday after a stint on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list. In a league where staying healthy is half the battle, the Saints are healing at the right time.

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