New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints play the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. The New Orleans Saints 8-3 are in the playoff hunt right behind their division rivals the Atlanta Falcons 9-2. The New Orleans Saints can stay on the heels of the Falcons with a win.
The New Orleans Saints show as inactive RB Pierre Thomas. All week it was not know if Thomas would play. This will mean extra carries for RB Julius Jones and RB Reggie Bush. Thomas injured his ankle in week three against the Falcons, and while it was originally reported he would miss only a few weeks, those few weeks have turned into nine after new information surfaced that he actually tore a tendon. Head coach Sean Payton had said he felt “pretty good” about Thomas’ chances to play and was encouraged by his ability to cut up the field during practice. The team had targeted his return for this week but they will wait one more week to allow the ankle to heal up further.
Also ruled out against Cincinnati is backup running back Ladell Betts who injured his neck a few weeks ago. He has not been practicing with the team since the injury and was not expected to play.
Tight end Jeremy Shockey will make his return to the football field after suffering a bruised rib in the first quarter of the Saints win over the Carolina Panthers in week nine.
Shockey took a shot in the back while catching a short touchdown pass and immediately left the field. He was later taken to a local hospital in Charlotte for X-ray’s that ultimately revealed a severely bruised lower rib.
The NFL active career interception leader will be back in the lineup after suffering a hamstring injury that has kept him out the last two games. Free safety Darren Sharper will replace stellar second year defensive back Malcolm Jenkins at the position, a move that allows Jenkins to move into a corner back role giving the Saints a lethal nickel and dime defensive formation.
Linebacker Anthony Waters is listed as questionable for the contest with an ankle injury and likely will not suit up come game time.
Cincinnati received three inches of snow Saturday, and there is a possibility of some accumulation during the game Sunday. It won’t be significant, but some snow showers should fall along with temperatures around 30 degrees. A brisk 10-15 mph wind is blowing through the stadium.