New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas is the leader of the Saints running back rotation, as he finished the seasons with 147 carries and a whopping 77 receptions. The Saints ability to use both Darren Sproles and Thomas as top-notch pass-catching backs really keeps the opposition off guard, and the only way to beat the Saints is to get Drew Brees pressure constantly and quickly. Even then, the Saints can beat the blitz with these two backs, and the Saints definitely have the best backfield on passing downs (even better than the Detroit Lions impressive duo of former Saint Reggie Bush and Joique Bell).
According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Mike Triplett, Pierre Thomas wasn’t spotted at practice yesterday, and the Saints stated that he is dealing with a chest injury. It doesn’t appear to be a simple rest day (unlike A.J. Green’s absence from practice yesterday for the Cincinnati Bengals), as Triplett adds that he is “not sure” regarding the severity of Thomas’s chest injury.
I fully expect Thomas to be out there for Saturday night’s Wild Card round game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on Thomas’s practice status closely. He should be back at practice today, but we’ll see. If Thomas is unable to go, then that will mean more carries for Mark Ingram, who could be on his way to shedding that “first-round bust” label. It isn’t much, but he’s been good when given chances this year, and maybe that’s why the Saints decided not to deal him at the trade deadline (Sean Payton denied those trade rumors with extreme passion). Not only did Ingram tear up the Dallas Cowboys earlier this year, but he was also the best player on offense in the close but still ugly loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Hopefully Thomas plays, but continued breakout performances from Ingram- he’s been running with authority due to much better vision, explosion and cutting- would ease the pain.