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Michael Thomas could need clearance from Packers doctor ... to play Packers

Saints WR Michael Thomas is recovering from a high ankle sprain. His chances of playing in Week 3 hinge on clearance by an opponent’s doctor.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Davon House takes a ball away from New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints on October 22, 2017 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints will not have wide receiver Michael Thomas available Monday evening when they face the Las Vegas Raiders to close out Week 2. The team was reportedly pleased with his progress over the course of this past week, but he never got in a practice and was ruled out on Saturday.

The Saints host the Packers in Week 3, and if Thomas can return to practice this coming week, there’s a chance he could return for that game. If he does, it could create a bit of coincidental timing.

The Packers’ team doctor is Dr. Robert Anderson, who is also a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon. When Thomas had an MRI last week on his ankle, the team sent it to Anderson for review, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He determined Thomas has a mild high ankle sprain.

Schefter is reporting Thomas will fly up to Green Bay to meet with Anderson for a follow-up on his ankle. If Anderson thinks Thomas is making sufficient progress, he could sign off on Thomas being available next week at home against the team that contracts with Anderson as their team doctor.

In a movie this might lead to some kind of shenanigans, but in real life, we’re not going to see a doctor for one team pulling a fast one on a player for an opposing team. Given the nature of medicine and specific areas of expertise, we regularly see players visiting an opposing team’s doctor, often getting surgery with another team’s doctor given the speciality that might be involved.

It’s too early at this point to know if Thomas will be available in Week 3. High ankle sprains usually cost players anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months depending on the seriousness. Thomas seems likely to be questionable at best heading into Week 3.