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Report: Emmanuel Sanders, Michael Thomas will play in Week 9

The Saints will get a big boost out wide for Sunday’s Week 9 game against the Buccaners.

Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints rseaks away from the Carolina Panthers defense during the first quarter of their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Friday PM update: Michael Thomas will play on Sunday night, per ESPN’s Dianna Russini. Thomas hasn’t played since Week 1, but if you have him on your fantasy team, you’re playing him.

Friday update: Both Sanders and Thomas are practicing on Friday, per ESPN’s Mike Triplett. Sanders already said he will play, but Thomas is a little iffier this week. His status on the injury report should help clear things up, but he should be very close to a return.

Thursday PM update: Michael Thomas was back at practice once again in limited fashion on Thursday.

Thursday update: Emmanuel Sanders said that he will play this week, per Nick Underhill. His return seemed inevitable, but it’s good to hear. We are still waiting on an update for Michael Thomas, but he does appear on track to have a good chance to go this week. We’ll update this post when more news comes in on his status.

The New Orleans Saints have been undermanned at wide receiver for most of 2020 but could return to full strength in time for their Week 9 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Marquez Callaway returned to practice on Thursday according to The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell. The trio could help give New Orleans a shot at toppling red hot Tampa Bay on the road.

Thomas hasn’t played since Week 1 because of an ankle injury and was benched in Week 5 for getting into an altercation with a teammate. He’s since picked up a hamstring injury but has been a limited participant in practice in recent Week’s. He’s expected to return to being a go-to guy for Drew Brees out wide but is off to a slow start with just three receptions for 17 yards on the year.

Emmanuel Sanders missed two games after testing positive for Covid-19 and his layoff come on the heels of a breakout game in which he tallied 12 receptions for 122 yards. He appears ready to prepare for a return and could bump undrafted rookie Marquez Callaway down a spot on the depth chart. The first-year wideout caught eight passes for 75 yards in a win over the Carolina Panthers before missing Week 8 with an ankle injury.