Bradley Handwerger / Sports Reporter | @wwltvsports

METAIRIE, La. ― For much of this past month, Saints coach Sean Payton continually was asked what would happen to the backfield once all four running backs were healthy.

Now we know. Sort of.

Chris Ivory was a healthy scratch for the Saints on Monday night, leaving Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram to carry the load.

Those three succeeded, finished with 205 yards rushing.

But Payton cautioned Wednesday that the active list won't always be that way.

'It's certainly not any plan set in stone going forward,' Payton said.'I think for that game we spent a lot of time discussing where we were both offensively and defensively and in the kicking game with injuries and basically coming up with inactives. Each week we will look at that and look at it closely.'

Payton said he values Ivory's ability and that his challenge each week will be figuring out which running back, if healthy, is inactive.

Quarterback Drew Brees, meanwhile, sees the benefits of having so many healthy running backs.

'I think definitely when there's not a guy who has to carry the ball 30 times, you're not worried about him getting beat up,' Brees said. 'When you can spread the carries among those guys, it keeps them fresher. They all know they're going to get their opportunities. They all have their packages of plays and personnel groupings where they know this is me, my responsibilities.'

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