Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Saints RB Thomas fights for his postseason place

Saints running back Pierre Thomas fights for yards in Saturday’s win over the Lions. Thomas had 66 yards rushing and 55 receiving in the game.

Getty Images

Saints running back Pierre Thomas fights for yards in Saturday’s win over the Lions. Thomas had 66 yards rushing and 55 receiving in the game.

NEW ORLEANS — One of Pierre Thomas' teammates referred to him as "an animal" after the Saints' playoff opening triumph over Detroit.

Thomas is just happy to be healthy and able to help New Orleans in another playoff run.

The fifth-year running back was a key player in the Saints' championship two seasons ago, turning screen passes into long touchdowns in both the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. But in 2010 he had a left ankle injury for much of the regular season and was on injured reserve by the time the Saints lost in the playoffs.

Thomas made his postseason return Saturday against the Lions, slipping numerous tackles and bouncing off some heavy hits on his way to 121 combined yards and a touchdown.

"It was very sweet. I'm blessed to continue my career after my injury," Thomas said. "I just keep fighting. I've been pushing and my teammates have my back. I don't even think about the injury. I just go out and keep playing."

Thomas has been effective, but overshadowed both by the Saints' record-breaking passing game and by being part of a deep running back corps. The fifth-year back was second on the team in rushing with 562 yards and five TDs on 110 carries, a respectable 5.1 yards per carry. He also caught 50 passes for 425 yards and a score.

GIANTS: In his first game back with the team on Dec. 4, LB Chase Blackburn intercepted Aaron Rodgers, one of only six non-Packers to catch one of his passes all season. When the Packers won, Rodgers teased Blackburn, saying he didn't recognize him in his new uniform number.

"I think he'll know who 93 is this time," Blackburn said this week.

In December, the team had just lost rookie Mark Herzlich to a sprained ankle, and Michael Boley was slowed with a hamstring injury, so they called the player who had been on the team the previous six years and thrust him into the middle linebacker role.

He made an immediate impact in that Green Bay game. Then Sunday against the Falcons, he made a key third-and-1 stop on Michael Turner.

So the question is …

"I have no idea why he wasn't on the football team all this year," DE Justin Tuck said, shaking his head.

Neither does Blackburn.

"I think I'm heading in the right direction," Blackburn said of making that point. "Every week, I'm getting more comfortable. I can't speak for (the front office), I'm just trying to help this team and continue to go."

Saints RB Thomas fights for his postseason place 01/10/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 9:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.
  4. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.