Saints place Pierre Thomas on IR

Reigning Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees is going to have to pull off an even more impressive act in the postseason this year for the New Orleans Saints to defend their title.

That is because the club’s rushing attack took another serious hit today when Pierre Thomas was placed on season-ending injured reserve with an ankle injury. Thomas was only able to play in six games this season as the ankle injury forced him to miss significant time in the middle of the season. Then, it’s believed he re-injured himself in practice last week as he was not added to the injury report until Friday.

It’s a major blow a day after Chris Ivory, the team’s leading rusher, was also placed on IR. The Saints are going to have to lean even more heavily on Brees now.

New Orleans signed Joique Bell off the practice squad of the Philadelphia Eagles to take the place of Thomas. Bell is an undrafted rookie from Wayne State who first signed with the Buffalo Bills. The 2009 Harlon Hill award winner as the nation’s best Division II player has also spent time with the Indianapolis Colts.

With inexperienced backs, it’s going to affect the Saints in pass protection. Julius Jones will likely play a prominent role in Saturday’s playoff game at Seattle against his former team the Seahawks. Reggie Bush will also have to play a more prominent role.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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