Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
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METAIRIE, La. ― Chris Ivory came off the physically unable to perform list for the Saints’ Oct. 30 game at St. Louis, the same week Mark Ingram had to rest with a heel injury.
But the minute Ingram’s heel healed, Ivory was inactivated, where he has been the past three games.
With Ingram back on the did not practice list, suffering through a turf toe on his right foot, it appears Ivory will be the Saints third active back on Sunday at Tennessee.
Needless to say, he’s ready.
“I’ve still been running,” Ivory said Wednesday. “I’ve been doing everything just about everybody else has been doing but probably a little fresher than most of the other guys just because of the fact that I haven’t been out there (in games) taking many hits like the other guys.”
In many ways, Saints coach Sean Payton couldn’t ask for a better situation.
Ivory missed the first six weeks of the season while on the PUP list, meaning he wasn’t taking the pounding in games and in practice that most of the league’s running backs take.
Meanwhile, with Ingram out those few weeks with the heel injury and out at least Wednesday, the rookie is getting a chance to rest.
Payton insists that each week the staff will look closely at matchups when deciding whether to go with Ingram or Ivory on game day or go with four running backs.
Ingram, for his part, says he’s feeling better and that if he can go against the Titans, he’d like to.
But the consummate team player said he wouldn’t make a poor decision that benefits only himself.
“At the end of the day, it’s like whatever is best for the team,” Ingram said. “If I feel like I’m able to play, able to bring my best to the table, then I’m going to go. If I feel like I can’t bring my best to the table, if that’s the best for the team, I’ll shut it down.”
Ingram leads the Saints with 474 yards and five touchdowns rushing on a team-high 122 carries while Ivory has 85 yards on only 21 carries.