Sep 7, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (23) celebrates a New Orleans Saints touchdown during their game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 37-34 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
After having his breakout performance of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5, it looked like New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas was set to have another big year in the passing game. However, he fell to a shoulder injury during the following contest, forcing a four-game absence up to this point.
Even without the PT Cruiser, it seemed like things were running smoothly for the Black and Gold with a blowout win against the Green Bay Packers and their first road win in seven tries versus the Carolina Panthers.
Unfortunately, the little tease lasted only two weeks as the Saints took two consecutive, rare tumbles at home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, including Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, where the team failed to perform well in any aspect of the game.
Granted, New Orleans has been brutally attacked by the injury bug all year, but that is still no excuse for what’s been happening in the not-so-easy Big Easy. Now, with Brandin Cooks and Rafael Bush landing on season-ending injured reserve, all hope seems lost, but it’s certainly not.
In the worst division in professional football, the Saints are still well in the mix to take the title as NFC South champions. Adding a little more hope, Pierre Thomas could be approaching a return, and maybe as soon as Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens.
On Wednesday afternoon, the eight-year veteran posted a picture on the photo sharing network known as Instagram. The PT Cruiser was getting a nice little upper-body workout in. “Getting Right Who Dat Fans!!! #tryingtogetthatbodyback #causeifeellikeit” were his words. Even the Saints’ account had the idea to “repost” it for all of their followers to see.
Of course, most of us know not to base anything off of what we see on social media, but it is indeed promising. It’s certainly good see Thomas using that shoulder again.
Pierre plays a huge role in New Orleans’ offense, especially in the passing game. In 2013 alone, he caught 77 passes out of the backfield. The return could add a nice spark to an offense that has struggled mightily during the past two weeks.
The Saints still rank No. 2 in the NFL in total offense, but yards mean nothing when you can’t get points on the board. The offensive turnovers and lack of defensive takeaways are to blame for that.
Thomas’ return is absolutely imperative. His presence will keep Mark Ingram’s legs fresh, open up the screen game that the team has relied so heavily on in the past and also keep Drew Brees calm, hopefully reducing the high amount of unnecessary turnovers that the Saints’ quarterback has uncharacteristically produced this season.
With the 6-4 Ravens next up on the schedule for what should be a physical Monday Night Football matchup, a win at home is a must for the Black and Gold before they head to chilly Pennsylvania to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pierre Thomas could undoubtedly make that victory less difficult to obtain, so we’ll be sure keep an eye on his status and availability throughout the remainder of the week.