NEW ORLEANS — Michael Thomas finally broke his silence on social media on Friday.
The New Orleans Saints star wide receiver shared an image on Twitter with the words “They tried to damage your reputation. You saved theirs by not telling your side of the story.” It is the first post that Thomas has shared on Twitter since it was announced that he would miss the start of the 2021 NFL season due to delayed ankle surgery.
The cryptic post comes just days after the Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate detailed a rift between the Saints and Thomas after his decision to delay an offseason surgery until June. Columnist Jeff Duncan reports Thomas decided to rehab his ankle instead of surgery and then ignored repeated calls from the Saints, who were checking in to make sure he was meeting benchmarks.
Saints coach Sean Payton was clearly unhappy with the situation before the start of training camp but declined to assign blame for delays in Thomas’ return to the field.
"It appears we're going to have to spend some time without him," Payton said. "It's disappointing. We would have liked that to have happened earlier. And quite honestly, it should have. I'm going to leave it at that."
General manager Micky Loomis says some expected Thomas' injury to heal without surgery. He says it became apparent during minicamp in June that Thomas' ankle “wasn't quite right."
"With hindsight, we would have preferred that surgery to be earlier, in February or March," Loomis said. "But it wasn't. It is what it is. Hopefully, he's had a good result so far and we can get him back sooner rather than later."
Thomas has not yet appeared in person at Saints training camp. There is no timetable for when he's set to return for the upcoming season.
Thomas missed nine games last season.