New Orleans Saints tailback Pierre Thomas almost certainly will miss Sunday's opener against Detroit after being held out of team drills again Thursday.
Thomas, who suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee three weeks ago, dressed for practice and participated in some individual drills, but he wasn't healthy enough to go full speed.
"I was hoping we'd get more from him today," said Saints Coach Sean Payton, who said Thomas didn't have to be "100 percent" healed in order to play, but he "has to be better than the other back that's potentially dressing in his place."
"The key is getting to where it's comfortable enough to where he's not just practicing and able to plant on it, but he's effectively able to do that better than another player," Payton said.
If Thomas can't play, most of his snaps will likely go to tailback Mike Bell, who would split time in the backfield with starter Reggie Bush, and second-year pro Lynell Hamilton likely would be activated as the third tailback.