Pierre Thomas has been a trendy pick during fantasy football draft season as a potential first round value that can often be had in Rounds 2-4, depending on your league. Thomas played well last year over the final six weeks of the season and benefits from playing in the most explosive offense in the NFL.
He also, of course, benefits from the fact that Reggie Bush runs between the tackles about as well as Chad Pennington throws the deep out.
Yet, despite all of these positives, the latest injury updates on Pierre Thomas indicate that you may need to sit him in Week 1.
A few days ago, Thomas listed himself as questionable for Week 1 because of an MCL sprain (via Fanhouse) that has hampered him throughout the preseason. He also recently sustained a laceration “from a fence” (via the Times-Picayune) that required him to get stitches, but should not hamper him moving forward.
The official Week 1 injury report is not out yet, but the news about Thomas is pessimistic enough that I would begin making alternate plans for your running back slots this week. He did not practice on Monday, and I’ve seen no reports yet that indicate he we will be ready to take advantage of the porous Lions’ D on Sunday.
The fact of the matter is that if you gave Sean Payton truth serum, he would probably admit that he doesn’t think he’ll need Thomas to score on and beat Detroit. Thus, if their #1 backfield horse isn’t ready to go, there is no reason for them to rush him back. This is a huge season for Payton and the Saints, and Thomas is the guy they are counting on to provide the Deuce-like thunder opposite Reggie Bush’s lightning.
That said, I wouldn’t panic yet if you are a Thomas owner (as I am).
Hopefully you have a decent option on your bench for Week 1 and his absence won’t kill you. If you own Reggie Bush, he obviously becomes a must-start, pending the reports out of Saints practice this week. Mike Bell should also see increased carries, especially around the goalline, if Thomas is out. In fact, Bell might not be a bad guy to stash on your bench as a semi-handcuff for Thomas as a hedge in case Thomas’ injuries linger.
Just be sure to keep track of the latest injury updates on Pierre Thomas throughout the week, but I’d get him out of your lineup right now — just in case you forget to check before Sunday — and then make a last minute switch on Saturday or Sunday if the news about his knee changes.
I’ll update this post if I see that anything changes.
Update: Via this tweet from Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune, it appears as if you are safe in removing Pierre Thomas from your rosters. Thomas, according to Duncan, is not dressed for Wednesday’s practice.
* – Pierre Thomas photo credit: Ball St Journal