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Thomas emerging for Saints in playoffs

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – One of Pierre Thomas’ teammates referred to him as “an animal” after the Saints’ playoff opening triumph over Detroit.

Thomas is just happy to be healthy and able to help New Orleans in another playoff run.

The fifth-year running back was a key player in the Saints’ lone championship two seasons ago, turning screen passes into long touchdowns in both the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl. In 2010, however, he struggled with a left ankle injury for much of the regular season and was on injured reserve by the time the Saints were bounced from the playoffs in a first-round loss at Seattle.

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