In addition to the three hurt running backs already ruled out, the Saints scratched injured wide receiver Robert Meachem, wide receiver Nick Toon, interior offensive lineman Senio Kelemete and tackle Nick Becton from Sunday’s home game against Cincinnati (5-3-1).
The Saints (4-5) had already ruled out three running backs prior to Sunday: Pierre Thomas (rib/shoulder), Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Edwin Baker (concussion).
All of that means Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis and linebacker Curtis Lofton are active despite being questionable with knee and ankle injuries, respectively. After joining the Saints this week, former Bengals running back Brian Leonard and safety Jamarca Sanford are also active. And rookie Saints cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste is active for the fourth time this season.
Leonard was brought in to add depth at the running back position, and Sanford came in after rookie safety Vinnie Sunseri fractured his arm.
Others who are active after being on the injury report and being listed as probable are running back Mark Ingram (shoulder), tackle Zach Strief (chest) and linebacker David Hawthorne (hand). Hawthorne had missed the past two games hurt and was replaced with Ramon Humber.
This is the second consecutive game Meachem has missed hurt. His absence and Toon’s deactivation means Saints wide receiver Joseph Morgan will be active for only the third time this season, which is notable as he is coming off a suspension that kept him out of the past two contests.
This is the fourth game Thomas and Robinson will miss hurt. Baker left last week’s lost at home to San Francisco with his injury early.
Meanwhile, Kelemete and Becton are at the bottom of the offensive line’s depth chart.
For Cincinnati, cornerback Terence Newman, running back Giovani Bernard, tackle Andre Smith, linebacker Vontaze Burfict, tackle Tanner Hawkinson, defensive tackle Devon Still and wide receiver Greg Little are inactive.
Newman, Bernard, Burfict and Smith were all injured. The rest are healthy.
Smith and Hawkinson are the two players listed at right tackle for the Bengals. To make up for their absences, the Bengals will slide backup left tackle Marshall Newhouse over to the right side.
Newhouse struggled in the Bengals’ 24-3 defeat at home to Cleveland on Nov. 6.