Bradley Handwerger / Sports Reporter

METAIRIE, La. Two of the four players missing from New Orleans' first day of practice this week returned Thursday as the Saints continue preparation for Sunday's game at St. Louis.

Defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis (right ankle) was limited, as was linebacker Jonathan Casillas (right knee). Both missed Wednesday's session.

Still, linebacker Jonathan Vilma (left knee) and running Mark Ingram (right heel) remained out. For Vilma, that's not an issue; he has missed or been limited every week since injuring his knee Sept. 25 against Houston.

Ingram poses a bigger problem, however. The rookie running back being out could mean the Saints will have to move up running back Chris Ivory from the active/physically unable to perform list less than a week after being changed from inactive/PUP.

Right tackle Zach Strief (right knee) and tight end David Thomas (concussion) were limited.

Linebacker Will Herring (left hamstring), defensive end Turk McBride (right shoulder) and tight ends Jimmy Graham (right ankle) and John Gilmore (shoulder) were full after being limited a day earlier.

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