There wasn’t much that could stop the Saints’ run game during the first two weeks of the season. But New Orleans might have come up against a force strong enough to slow it down.
Running back Mark Ingram has broken his hand, and that will keep him out of action for about a month. ESPN first reported Ingram’s injury.
Saints coach Sean Payton declined to discuss Ingram’s health Monday and said the team would evaluate the running back’s situation.
It is not immediately clear when Ingram suffered the injury. He was on the field during New Orleans’ final drive during Sunday’s 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns and recorded his last carry with 8:26 remaining in the game. He spoke with reporters afterwards for several minutes, and it was not obvious anything was wrong with him.
Ingram, who is in the final year of his contract, has 24 carries for 143 yards (six yards per attempt) and three touchdowns.
The Saints have used a rotation of running backs this season, mixing Khiry Robinson, Travaris Cadet, and Pierre Thomas in with Ingram. As things currently stand, Robinson would likely see an uptick in carries if the Saints’ evaluation confirms Ingram will miss time.
Production-wise, Ingram was having the complete opposite start to the season than what he had in 2013, when he had a paltry 31 yards on 17 carries before a toe injury in Week 2 sidelined him for five games.
Ingram is about to miss another portion of a season after sustaining an injury in Week 2.
In his four years with the Saints, who chose him in the first round of the 2011 draft, Ingram has missed a total of 11 regular-season games and two playoff contests because of injuries. He has averaged 487.3 rushing yards and three touchdowns per regular season.
Ingram had that many touchdowns and about 29.3 percent of those yards through two games in 2014.
Saints writer Ramon Antonio Vargas contributed to this report