Michael Thomas Injury Analysis: Potential League Winner? (2022 Fantasy Football)
Michael Thomas is officially back at practice, but will he be playing Week 1? What type of production should we expect? Let’s break it down.
Michael Thomas Injury Analysis Overview
Thomas is over one year removed from surgery on an injury that was almost treated non-operatively. Although the handling (or mishandling, depending on who you ask) of the situation cost him all of 2021, this still suggests the injury was mild-medium in severity. Anything more drastic would have been surgically treated without question from the start.
The injury involved ligaments that stabilize the ankle (reportedly deltoid + likely syndesmosis) when cutting and sprinting. As a result, explosiveness with these motions would be the last part of his athleticism to return. While game speed is different than practice, we’re reassured by what we can see of his footage so far.
Regarding readiness for Week 1, it certainly appears that Thomas is headed in that direction. Aside from coming off the PUP list for practice, the typical return timelines for this type of surgery take three to six months. As mentioned earlier, Thomas is well over a year removed. Despite the additional variable of his longer injury chronicity, we’d still expect MT to play to kick off the season.
Injury Falloff Expectation
But will he be the same player? The SportsMedAnalytics algorithm – which factors in pre-injury production, player-specific athletic metrics, and 20+ years of NFL injury data – suggests that MT may lose a half-step here but should still be an excellent player. Achieving top-15 status for his position is very much in play, even if his days as a consistent plug-and-play top-five performer might be in the past.
Durability? While any player can get injured, this ankle issue isn’t the type that tends to recur, assuming it heals appropriately after surgical treatment (all indicators suggest it has). Thomas does play the physical style we generally prefer to avoid on our fantasy teams, but he’s also shown the ability to play through the minor injuries that result. During his first four seasons, he missed a combined total of one game.
Picking that in round seven or eight – where he’s going right now – is the low-risk, high-reward type of bet that wins leagues. I have been, am, and will continue to be all in on the Thomas comeback train.
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