New Orleans Saints: Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush And Team Rumors
By Keith Null
The Saints season is on the verge of becoming a complete bust not even one year removed from their first ever Super Bowl title and their winning-est season in franchise history.
All signs pointed to a successful season in 2010 after head coach Sean Payton managed to keep the bulk if his team in place, but after a laundry list of issues the Saints are now 4-3 entering into a tough two game stretch that will see them face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers before their week 10 bye.
Running back Pierre Thomas has missed the last four games after suffering an ankle injury in week three loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
The injury was not immediately reported as severe and it was thought he would only miss a game or two while recovering but unfortunately that has not been the case thus far as he has continued to be slown by his ankle injury.
Thomas is expected back this week when the Saints play host to the Steelers but likely his official status for the contest, if not determined sometime this week, will be a game time decision.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that head coach Sean Payton was unhappy with Thomas’ extended recovery time so much so that when he returns to the lineup it will be behind rookie phenom Chris Ivory.
Although the report was never substantiated Payton, during a Monday press conference, didn’t necessarily deny it either simply stating whatever ill feelings existed between he, the club and Thomas were just between he, the club and Thomas.
It’s hard to imagine the Saints sitting Thomas if indeed he can return to the playing field one hundred percent healthy as he has been the Saints leading rusher over the last few seasons and a major catalyst to their offensive success.
Running back Reggie Bush has been cleared to practice after suffering a broken fibula against the 49ers and he too may return to actual game play this Sunday against the Steelers.
Bush has missed the last five games with the injury and in his absence the Saints sporatic run game has suffered averaging only 92.6 yards a game which currently ranks as 26th in the league.
His addition will surely help the Saints rush game but his involvement in the offense extends much further then just rushing the football and should be just the spark the Saints need to get back on track after what has so far been a down season for the perpetually league leading unit.
Rumors abound that quarterback Drew Brees surgically repaired throwing shoulder is causing him issues stemming from a hit he took in the Falcons game. Brees was visually bothered after the hit and was seen unstrapping his helmet on the sideline without the use of his right arm.
Entering the Falcons game Brees had thrown only two picks in three games but since has gone on to throw eight further adding to the speculation that an injury did occur which is affecting his throwing accuracy.
Why there may be some truth behind the rumor Drew’s struggles of late most likely has more to do with how defenses are playing him in the absence of Thomas and Bush.
With both the Saints to rushing threat out teams are not concerned with stopping the run and thus are able to drop more defenders into coverage in an effort to protect against the pass. Bush’s return should help defenses remain honest easing the strain on Brees.
Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on NFL.com by clicking here.
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