Michael Thomas returned as a full participant to practice for the first time in nearly two years earlier this month. Now, the star Saints wide receiver is back on the sidelines with another injury. Two days after sitting out of New Orleans' Week 2 preseason game against the Packers, Thomas was absent from Sunday's practice due to a hamstring issue, coach Dennis Allen told reporters.

Allen was asked if the 29-year-old former All-Pro was excused for a veteran's rest day before revealing the injury: "Um, no," he said. "Michael Thomas is dealing with a little bit of a hamstring." He did not elaborate on the severity of the issue or provide any timetable for Thomas' return to the field.

Even if the injury is mild, it's a notable development for a player who's struggled to stay healthy. Once one of the game's most productive pass catchers, Thomas has played just seven games over the last two seasons, last appearing in December 2020, and he's still in the middle of recovering from an ankle injury that required offseason surgery.

Both Thomas and Allen have been publicly optimistic about the receiver's return to health for 2022, and Thomas opened training camp on the active roster, ramping up to full-team participation in recent weeks. But he sat out Friday's preseason game for seemingly precautionary reasons and did not travel with the team for its preseason opener against the Texans. Thomas also missed all on-field work during the Saints' organized team activities to start the offseason.

Should he be available for the regular-season opener, Thomas is expected to resume his role as the team's No. 1 receiver. The Saints added reinforcements at the position this offseason, namely veteran Jarvis Landry and first-round pick Chris Olave.