Michael Thomas & Alvin Kamara: What Their Returns Mean for Bears vs. Saints
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas
The Saints get back their top two playmakers on Sunday when Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are both expected to return against the Bears.
Both players have officially been activated. Kamara was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list last week. Thomas hasn’t played since Week 14 due to an ankle injury that has bothered him throughout the regular season.
That’s bad news for a Bears team that is already listed as a double-digit underdog and without starting linebacker Roquan Smith, among others.
This makes life much easier for Drew Brees and the Saints as they gear up for what they expect to be a Super Bowl run.
See below for what each player means for the Saints offense.
Michael Thomas Impact
Thomas has been one of the league’s premier receivers in recent years, but an ankle injury suffered in Week 1 has limited him to just seven games. He caught 40 passes for 438 yards and miraculously zero touchdowns.
When healthy, Thomas is the second-most valuable player on the Saints roster to only Drew Brees. According to our Director of Predictive Analytics Sean Koerner’s player ratings, Thomas is worth 1.1 points to the spread.
The Bears will be down cornerback Buster Skrine, while rookie corner Jaylon Johnson is questionable. Kyle Fuller will likely spend most of his time on Thomas, which could open things up for Emmanuel Sanders.
Alvin Kamara Impact
The Saints survived without Thomas in large part because of Kamara.
He rushed for 932 yards while catching 83 balls for 756 yards and a total of 21 touchdowns.
Koerner makes Kamara worth 0.5 points to the spread, so the combination of Kamara and Thomas adds at least 1.5 points to the line for New Orleans.