The Saints wide receiver performed the celebration after scoring the game-clinching touchdown with about four minutes remaining in the 45-35 victory on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees took a shotgun snap on the play from the 32 yard line. He looked to his left and then to his right, before scanning back to the left flank. Brees then lobbed up a pass for Thomas, who had a step on his defender. Thomas brought in the catch at about the 40 yard line. He took off and raced into the end zone.
When he reached pay dirt, Thomas ran to the field goal post and lifted up the pad. He pulled out an old cellphone and pretended to make a call before putting it up to his ear.
Horn first pulled off the cellphone celebration in 2003 against the New York Giants. Thomas said he watched the highlight on YouTube before mimicking Horn’s celebration. Like Horn, Thomas was penalized for the antic. The young Saint star said he had a cellphone hidden under each goalpost.
Thomas pulled in a franchise-record 211 receiving yards on 12 catches, including the 72-yard scamper.
“My number was called,” Thomas said. “The play presented itself. I made a play for my team. I live for those types of moments. It’s a blessing. I thank God for letting me be on the end of that play to help my team put that game away.”
The Saints battle the Bengals at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Thomas has 880 yards and five touchdowns on 70 receptions this season.