<span style="">Despite weathering a rough Saturday night at the team's downtown Buffalo hotel, and trying to battle nausea and a weak stomach, Saints running back Pierre Thomas somehow managed to come off the bench yesterday and rush for a career-high 126 yards in the second half.
Thomas, the Saints' third year running back, admitted on Monday afternoon that he's still feeling the effects of the his sickness but he sensed the team needed him yesterday and told Head Coach Sean Payton at halftime that he was ready to give it a go.
Thomas carried 14 times in the second half and scored two touchdowns, helping to break a tight game into a lopsided affair with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Saints game against the Bills, and most importantly, and helped the team secure the team's third victory of the season with a 27-7 victory.
Thomas took intravenous fluids before the game and tested himself, albeit in a limited fashion before the game, and got in a few plays on special teams in the first half and felt strong enough to let Payton know he felt he could help out in the running game.
That he did.
"At halftime, his response when I asked him how he felt was the one I wanted to hear, so we began to give him the ball more in the second half, and he did a good job with those carries,'' Payton said Monday.
Thomas simply told Payton as the team was leaving the locker room for the walk down the dark Ralph Wilson Stadium tunnel to the field, "I'm ready.''
"He sent me out there,'' Thomas said. "He said, 'Go show me.'''
Thomas, as he did after game, was quick to credit fullback Heath Evans, the Saints' offensive line and tight ends and receivers for creating holes for him to weave his way through.
"I really have to give it all to them,'' Thomas said. "Those holes are so huge, you could run five guys through there.''
Thomas probably felt in the clear as he settled into his seat for the three-hour flight home. He said he relaxed and kept to himself, trying anything to get some rest and attempt to get back to feeling 100%. While others around him were laughing and enjoying the victory, Thomas recoiled into his seat and counted the time until the team's bags were loaded and the charter was taxied out to the runway.
But Thomas had one more hurdle that he didn't know he'd have to battle through, as the team's plane bounced through heavy turbulence on the initially ascent to 35,000 feet, and tested the resolve of even the strongest stomachs aboard a bit shaken.
"It was good to close my eyes after things settled down a bit," Thomas said. "It was even better to get a good night's sleep."