Burning Questions from Saints Fans after Sunday's Playoff Loss [Part 1]

Two major topics are leading to burning questions from New Orleans Saints fans after Sunday's playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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Many burning questions are on the minds and hearts of Saints fans. After the fourth-consecutive season of losing in the NFL playoffs, fans have questions. So does media and quite a few NFL pundits.  

But, let's stick with the fans. 

Drew Brees and Michael Thomas

Two injured players come to their minds. Drew Brees and Michael Thomas.

Injuries are a huge part of football. The sport's physicality will always have players "to inflict" or "be inflicted" with at least a minor or major damage during a 16-game regular season. The injuries have an impact on a team. Especially, suppose the injured player has a significant role each week. 

In that case, gameplans and schemes (offensive and defensive) will be installed or deleted if a player(s) can or cannot perform in the next contest. 

Each week, the weekly injury reports are highly anticipated resources for teams, coordinators, reporters, broadcasters, Vegas, and the NFL.  They are researched, dissected, poured-over reported on, and betting lines are reset based on these valued reports.  

Today, before the Saints head coach Sean Payton talks with the media and addresses the playoff loss, the 2020 season, and more - there are plenty of hot topics fans have discussed on Twitter, Facebook, forums, and amongst themselves.

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Drew Brees

According to Brittany Brees' social media post, New Orleans' star quarterback had two unreported injuries - torn rotator cuff (shoulder) and torn fascia (foot). Mrs. Brees revealed the damage he sustained during the season via an Instagram post in praise of Drew and his courageous spirit, which very few would doubt. 

Brittany Brees supporting Drew Brees and his injuries

His return from 11 fractured ribs to play after rehabbing for four games is remarkable.

  • Still, some fans wondered why he was playing? 
  • When did the other injuries occur? 
  • Did they affect his ability to play in the Bucs game? 
  • Were his interceptions and tentative play at times a result of the injuries? 

Fair questions, right?

Michael Thomas

Reports say New Orleans' All-Pro wide receiver will have multiple operations this offseason to repair his deltoid muscle and ligaments in his ankle. In the final four games of the regular season, Sean Payton sat Thomas to rest and rehab his body ahead of the postseason. The decision made complete sense to have their #1 receiver ready for their "Super of Bust" playoff push.  

Yet, when news broke of his ligaments were torn and not a high-ankle sprain. Also, the mentioning of repairing his deltoid, which controls the arms' lifting, were new disclosures.

The team was winning without Brees and Thomas. Brees wanted a second Lombardi, and Thomas wanted to support Drew's efforts to reach his goal. But, at what cost?

The cost is the final and more lingering hot topic. 

Did playing the star players hurt the team's chances of progressing in the playoffs? Hindsight is always 20-20. 

But after 2020, the sight of not seeing the Saints go deeper into the playoffs is the top burning question. 

Will it be addressed this offseason?

We shall see.