Pierre Thomas could return Sunday at Cincinnati

The New Orleans Saints could finally get a boost for their running game as Pierre Thomas has “turned the corner” in his rehabilitation from a seriously injured left ankle.

Thomas has missed the last eight games and Brian Allee-Walsh of NewOrleans.com reports that Thomas could return for Sunday’s game at Cincinnati. There have been reports that Thomas suffered a torn tendon in his ankle by ESPN, and the team has consistently called it a severely sprained ankle.

The bottom line is it was a major injury and now Thomas could potentially be ready to help the Saints (8-3), who trail the Atlanta Falcons by one game in the NFC South.

“I’m optimistic (Thomas) can get back on the field for this game,” Payton said. “We began to see some real progress last week, yet we knew he wouldn’t be ready to play in that short turnaround on Thanksgiving.
“But when he and I spoke leading up to the Thanksgiving game, our goal was to make the Cincinnati game at least something we could target.

“It has taken awhile but he has turned the corner,’’ Payton said of Thomas, who suffered the injury during the waning seconds of regulation in the Saints’ 27-24 loss to Atlanta in overtime on Sept. 26 at the Superdome. “I am optimistic. I know he’s shooting for Cincinnati and I am, too.”

Rookie Chris Ivory has performed well of late, but the Saints need Thomas back to make a strong run through the final five weeks and into the playoffs.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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