It looks like Mark Ingram will once again carry the load this week.
The Saints announced Friday afternoon that running back Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (ribs/shoulder) will be sidelined for the third consecutive week because of injury. That means Ingram, who has 54 carries for 272 yards and three carries over the last two weeks, will once again carry the load.
Sean Payton was asked earlier this week if he’s concerned about the amount of carries Ingram is taking on. The coach said they would keep an eye on how Ingram responds, but said he was more concerned about the running back’s workload last Thursday against the Carolina Panthers.
“The bigger concern was a Thursday game coming off a Sunday and the quick turnaround,” Payton said. “We’ll be smart. We’ll see what type of game (we want to play) and what type of role we want to use (with him) this game. But, I think the Sunday night, Thursday night turnaround was something we had to pay attention to.”
The team also announced linebacker David Hawthorne (hand) will be out, meaning Ramon Humber should once again see a decent amount of snaps.
Ingram, center Jonathan Goodwin (knee/ankle), tackle Zach Strief (chest), and wide receiver Robert Meachem (ankle) are questionable.
Tight end Jimmy Graham (shoulder) and wide receiver Kenny Stills (thigh) are probable.
The advance in statistics tracked by various websites has led to a higher understanding of the game among fans and analysts, but those stats are only worthwhile when they are accurate and do not distort what is actually happening on the field.
The Saints say that is what has happened with Keenan Lewis this season. There are statistics flying around the Internet which state the Saints cornerback has allowed more than 300 passing yards and three touchdowns this season. But the team says that simply isn’t true.
“I know there’s another thing with numbers, someone said Keenan’s given up 300 yards receiving,” Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. “That’s just not true. I don’t know how that happened.”
One play Ryan took particular issue with being placed on Lewis was a 70-yard reception by Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb. The pass went over Lewis’ head, but safety Rafael Bush appeared to be the man responsible for the reception.
“That wasn’t even his play,” Ryan said of Lewis. “Someone needs to fix those.”
One of the sites that placed blame on Lewis, Pro Football Focus, quickly moved the blame over to Bush after being made aware of Ryan’s comments. According to PFF, Lewis has now allowed 304 receiving yards this season.
One other play that Lewis has received blame for from analysts is the 28-yard touchdown to Andrew Hawkins at the end of the Cleveland game. Saints players have said that Lewis was not the man responsible for the breakdown in coverage.
Graham hit draws fine
The NFL fined Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis $16,537 for striking tight end Jimmy Graham away from the ball in the course of a New Orleans interception thrown during the Saints’ 28-10 victory at Carolina on Oct. 30, a league official said Friday.
Ramon Antonio Vargas contributed to this report.