Saints' Thomas, Ravens' Bateman ruled out for season ahead of MNF game


Before their matchup on Monday Night Football, the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens both lost their expected top wide receivers to season-ending surgery.

Michael Thomas of the Saints was placed on IR with a toe injury that will require surgery, and head coach Dennis Allen said Thursday that he expects the former All-Pro to miss the season. For the Ravens, Rashod Bateman will undergo season-ending Lisfranc surgery on his foot.

Thomas has been limited to just three games and 16 receptions this season, while Bateman caught 15 passes in six games.

Injuries have been a growing concern throughout Thomas’ career. He missed just one game in his first four seasons after being drafted in 2016. Paired with Drew Brees, Thomas set the single-season reception record (149) in 2019 while being named AP Offensive Player of the Year.

But over the last three seasons, the Ohio State product has played a total of 10 games. He missed the entire 2021 season with an ankle injury, which also hindered his 2020 campaign.

Thomas entered 2022 fully healthy and appeared to be back on track after a dominant Week 1 performance (five catches, 57 yards, two touchdowns). But he exited the Saints’ Week 3 loss to the Panthers with a foot injury, and now his season is lost due to toe surgery.

Bateman, a first-round pick in 2021, has already dealt with several injuries in his career. He missed the start of his rookie season after groin surgery before returning for Week 6. His rookie season ended well, as he totaled four or more receptions in seven of the final 12 games.

Entering 2022, Bateman was expected to jump in the Ravens’ No. 1 wide receiver role after Baltimore traded Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. He showed flashes of brilliance in a 108-yard performance against the Dolphins in Week 2, but a foot injury suffered in Week 4 hindered the rest of his season before it was ultimately put to rest on Thursday.

So, the Saints and Ravens enter their matchup on Monday with plenty of questions at receiver. Rookie Chris Olave has stepped up all season for New Orleans, while Baltimore will turn to Devin Duvernay and the tight end duo of Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely.

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