The sting of an 0-2 start was worsened with news that starting running back Mark Ingram fractured his hand in Sunday's loss to the Browns. To fill the void (24 carries, 143 yards, 3 TD's), the Saints will turn to a pair of young running backs with potential in Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet and a crafty veteran in Pierre Thomas, who's been versatile throughout his career in Black-and-Gold.
"It's always bad to have one of your teammates go down, no matter what position it is, but it's our room," Pierre Thomas said. "We have guys to step up to the challenge, we're gonna have a lot more on our plate all of us, so we all have to do our job."
Ingram led the group with his six-yard per carry average, but quarterback Drew Brees is confident the rest of the backs will pick up the slack, despite that trio combining for 24 carries, the amount Ingram had by himself.
"I think it will be a great opportunity for really all three of those backs," Brees said. "Of course, Khiry will get more opportunities, Pierre as well. And then Travaris Cadet, all those guys are in a position to be able to step up and take on those reps and fill that role. All three are very capable, we'll miss Mark, whatever period of time that is, but very confident in the other guys."
Thomas added, "You always expect something like this is going to happen, you have to be ready for it, and we'll be ready for it. We're gonna make sure we know what to do. Make sure that we're not gonna miss a beat. We lost a good running back, but he's going to get better and get back quick."
Ingram may miss up to a month, but coach Sean Payton remains optimistic about him returning sooner rather than later.
"Fortunately with regards to his procedure, I don't expect it to be a long period of time," Payton said. "He had two screws placed right above his thumb and we'll just handle it week to week. There was a fracture. It was displaced, so it was not something that he could just put a cast on. Everything went well and he will be a week to week player (in terms of status)."
The Saints (0-2) host the Minnesota Vikings (1-1) this Sunday at Noon.