Saints: Loss of Thomas impacts passing game
Pierre Thomas is the latest victim of the Saints’ recent string of offensive injuries. While the team certainly has depth at the running back position, they don’t appear to have anyone to replace Thomas’ impact in the passing game.
For starters, Thomas has been asked to pass block 18 times, the most of any Saints RB. The only back with a higher pass blocking grade is fullback Austin Johnson. While the team doesn’t leave their backs in to block often, this is still a concerning development, considering only two of the team’s offensive linemen have positive pass blocking grades this season.
The bigger concern is on the receiving side, where Thomas sports a grade of +5.1, the highest receiving grade of any Saint regardless of position. He is also posting 1.77 Yards Per Route Run, good for 11th among RBs with at least 14 targets. The back expected to receive more snaps in Thomas’ absence, Travaris Cadet, ranks 7th in this category with a mark of 1.97 Yards Per Route Run.
Cadet has show some inconsistency however, dropping a pass and recording a fumble on his 19 targets. The good news is Cadet has posted a positive receiving grade in each of the past two games. He will need to continue that upward trend if the team hopes to overcome Thomas’ absence.