After ruling out two running backs with injuries for Sunday night’s home game against the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints added a player at the position Saturday: Edwin Baker from the practice squad.
Baker will be adding depth under regulars Mark Ingram and Travaris Cadet at running back. He’s joining the roster as veteran Pierre Thomas (rib/shoulder) and second-year pro Khiry Robinson (forearm) were scratched from the Packers game with injuries they suffered in a defeat at Detroit last week.
Neither Robinson nor Thomas was able to practice this week.
The 5-foot-8, 204-pound Baker — out of Michigan State — was a seventh-round selection by San Diego in 2012, but he failed to make the team. Houston eventually acquired him for their practice squad and, in December, Cleveland signed him away from the Texans and onto its 53-man roster.
Baker, who will wear No. 27 for the Saints, played in three games for Cleveland last year, rushing for 171 yards on 43 carries and scoring two touchdowns. He also tallied eight receptions for 57 yards.
He returned to the Browns this preseason but was waived in August. The Saints signed him to their practice squad after Ingram suffered a fractured hand in Week 2 at Cleveland that kept him out of three games.
Cadet on Friday said members of the Saints “can tell by his preparation day in and day out that (Baker) is hungry.”
“He’s explosive; he runs low to the ground; he’s a student of the game, and he has a lot of knowledge of what we’re trying to do,” Cadet said. “He’s looking forward to the opportunity, so I’m pretty sure you’ll see some big things from him as well.”
Baker played for Saints running backs coach Dan Roushar in college, when Roushar was the offensive coordinator at Michigan State before coming to the Saints in 2013.
To make room for Baker on the roster, the Saints released reserve tight end Tom Crabtree.