Michael Thomas dials up celebration to Saints’ past after clinching touchdown against Rams

New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas runs for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Rams on Sunday.
(Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

After the touchdown throw, a throwback.

In a nod to a New Orleans receiver of yesteryear, Saints wideout Michael Thomas celebrated his 72-yard touchdown catch Sunday by fishing a cellphone from the base of the goalpost pad and pretending to make a call. It was a celebration Joe Horn famously performed 15 years earlier.

“You got to have fun,” said Thomas, who had stashed the phone there and was flagged for a 15-yard penalty enforced on the ensuing kickoff. “All these guys are catching touchdowns and celebrating and having fun and getting the crowd involved. I felt like I had an opportunity to make it happen, put the game away and make the call.”

The Saints couldn’t have been too angry, as it punctuated a tremendous day for Thomas, who attended Taft High in Woodland Hills and is a nephew of former USC and NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson. Thomas, who had 12 catches, set a Saints single-game record with 211 receiving yards.


“I wasn’t all fired up about the penalty,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “We’ll get that figured out and handled, but he had a good game.”

Horn, who played for the Saints from 2000-06 and still ranks as the third-leading receiver in club history, was touched by the celebration.

“When I saw him bring out that cellphone, I teared up,” Horn told Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, who reached him by phone after the game. “That’s something that some kids don’t do, to pay homage to an old soul. For him to do it on a national stage took a lot of courage. When I saw him bring out that cellphone, I teared up. I’m humbled.”

Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer