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Brandin Cooks out for season with broken thumb

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Brandin Cooks' excellent rookie season has come to a sudden end, yet another setback in a disastrous season for the New Orleans Saints.

Cooks broke his thumb in Sunday's loss to Cincinnati, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, according to two people informed of the wideout's injury. The Saints subsequently placed Cooks on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday, according to the league's official transaction wire. 

Cooks was a bright spot during a season in which many of the Saints' veterans haven't played their best. He has 19 catches over the last four weeks and was on pace for 85 receptions and roughly 880 yards. Cooks also added 73 yards on the ground with four total touchdowns. He gave coach Sean Payton a ton of different options for play-calling, which now won't be available for the rest of the season. This ends Cooks' chances for Offensive Rookie of the Year in this epic year for rookie wideouts.

At 4-6, the Saints would be out of the playoff race in any other division. In the NFC South, they are tied for first place with the Falcons. The New Orleans' offense suddenly appears to have as many questions as the defense after failing to close out San Francisco and then scoring just 10 points at home against the Bengals.

The Saints will likely ask Robert Meachem and Joe Morgan to play more with Cooks out of the mix. Second-year pro Kenny Stills will also have a bigger role in the offense.

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