Saints Pierre Thomas listed as questionable against Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas just keeps on having problems with his ankle.
During Friday’s practice, Thomas seemed to have injured his left ankle again making him listed as questionable for the last game of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Reinjuring his ankle would be a serious problem for himself and the team. Thomas already missed nine straight weeks after a severely twisted ankle sustained in Week 3’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He is coming off of his best game of the season, rushing
for 102 yards and one touchdown alone against the Falcons this past week. That’s a blow for the Falcons, who usually allow an average total of only 103.8 yards per game. The win allowed the Saints to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
Although Thomas appeared on the injury report Friday for the first time since coming back on December 12, New Orleans head coach Sean Payton did not wish to discuss the status change in any further detail.
"The (injury) report is what we give," Payton said. "I do hate to have any type of competitive edge that would work against us. I think injuries, clearly, in my experience, can potentially do that.”
"We'll list the injuries, but there is no benefit for us in regards to each week's game," Payton went on to say. "From our perspective, this is what the league requires, and that's really it. The league doesn't require us to discuss the injuries day to day,
or surgeries for that matter."
The health of the players is a major concern for the Saints, with the playoffs looming over their heads. Chris Ivory with an injured hamstring and Reggie Bush with a chest injury are also both on the injury report, but listed as probable against the Bucs.
Ivory has missed the last two weeks because of his injury, but is positive about coming back to play on Sunday.
"I'm still taking it day by day," Ivory said. "If tomorrow goes well, I'll be ready for Sunday. I feel like I could feel better, but I'm all right. I'm good."
The undrafted rookie leads New Orleans’ rushing attack with 683 yards and five touchdowns. Ivory played his best game in their first meeting against Tampa Bay on October 17, rushing for 158 yards on 15 rushes, averaging over 10 yards per carry. The Saints
won that game 31-6.
It doesn’t really matter if the Saints win this game anyways. They will keep the number five NFC playoff seed if the favored Falcons beat the sluggish Carolina Panthers, which they almost surely will. Even if the Panthers win by some incredible miracle,
the Saints get the playoff spot if they beat the Bucs.
The Bucs still have a chance to get in the playoffs if they win against the Saints. But they also need a loss by both the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers.
The Saints’ game against the Bucs will take place at Superdome at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday January 2.