The New Orleans Saints have to do without star receiver Michael Thomas for at least the first five games of the season.

“Saints’s WR Michael Thomas, who underwent off-season foot surgery, is likely to land on PUP, which sources say will knock him out for the first six weeks,” Schefter wrote on Twitter. “With the Saints having an early reunion, Thomas’ placement on PUP would sideline him for at least the first five games.”

The Falcons meet the Saints in week nine of the NFL calendar. Atlanta meets New Orleans on Sunday, November 7th. That would give Thomas three weeks at most to be ready for Atlanta.

The timing of Thomas’s operation was a contentious point during the Saints training camp. Head coach Sean Payton brought the issue to the public after the first practice session in New Orleans.

“Well, look, it seems we’re going to have to spend some time without him. It’s disappointing,” Payton said after the Saints’ first practice session. “And we’ll work it through with the other players who are here. But the operation took place and we would of course have wished it had happened sooner rather than later. And honestly, it should have happened.”

“You tried to damage your reputation,” wrote Thomas. “You saved hers by not telling your side of the story.”

Thomas and Payton may have patched their relationship in time to face the Falcons on the first weekend in November, but will Thomas’ be 100% healthy by then? We’ll find out in New Orleans on November 7th.

Get the latest news and rumors tailored to your favorite sports and teams. Daily by email. Always free!