Saints running back Pierre Thomas will return to the lineup for a home game against the Ravens on Monday night after missing the past four contest with a rib/shoulder injury, his team said.
Joining Saints running back Khiry Robinson and linebacker Kyle Knox as inactive players for Monday night’s home game against Baltimore are wide receiver Robert Meachem, cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste, cornerback Terrence Frederick, tackle Nick Becton and nose tackle Brandon Deaderick.
Robinson (forearm) and Knox (hand) were ruled out with injuries prior to Monday. Also injured but not ruled out until Monday was Meachem, who will miss his third game in a row with an hurt ankle.
The rest of the inactives are healthy.
The fact that Meachem is inactive and rookie receiver Brandin Cooks is out for the rest of the season with a fractured thumb means little-utilized wideouts Joseph Morgan and Nick Toon will both be active to accompany mainstays Marques Colston and Kenny Stills. Also active will be rookie receiver Jalen Saunders, acquired as a free agent in the middle of the week.
Morgan, Stills and Saunders were in consideration for the punt-return duties Cooks was handling prior to breaking his thumb in a Nov. 16 game against Cincinnati.
It also means undrafted rookie free safety Pierre Warren will be available for his first game with the Saints and the NFL after being acquired from the Vikings practice squad less than a week ago.
Either he, Jamarca Sanford (acquired the Cincinnati game) or Marcus Ball (a first-year NFLer) will start alongside strong safety Kenny Vaccaro.
Meanwhile, Thomas will be joining Mark Ingram and Travaris Cadet at running back. In Thomas’ absence, Cadet has been occupying the role of third-down back, who often goes out for passes or is involved in protecting the quarterback from blitzers.
Out for the Ravens are wide Michael Campanaro, cornerback Rashaan Melvin, linebacker Arthur Brown, defensive tackle Terrence Cody, guard/center Gino Gradkowski, tackle Jah Reid and defensive end DeAngelo Tyson.
Campanaro (thigh) and Reid (hand) were on Baltimore’s injury report. The rest are healthy.
Baltimore is 6-4, and the Saints are 4-6. With a victory, the Saints will remain in first place of the NFC South ahead of Atlanta (4-7), Carolina (3-7-1) and Tampa Bay (2-9).