METAIRIE, La. – New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots after returning to practice on a limited basis Friday. Receiver Lance Moore (hand) is also listed as questionable, but he wasn’t able to practice all week. Safety Roman Harper (knee) and defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker (knee) were officially ruled out.
If Strief can’t play, second-year pro Bryce Harris will likely replace him as the starting right tackle. Harris doesn’t have much NFL experience, but he started one game last year and has appeared in every game this season as the sixth offensive lineman/extra tight end in jumbo packages.
Five other Saints players are listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis all week -- running back Mark Ingram (toe), cornerback Keenan Lewis (knee), safety Malcolm Jenkins (neck), defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (calf) and linebacker Ramon Humber (leg).
It will be interesting to see if Ingram is able to return to the lineup -- and how much the Saints use him if he does. Ingram has been out since Week 2 with a toe injury. In his absence, veteran Pierre Thomas has been the Saints’ featured runner, with runner/receiver Darren Sproles and undrafted rookie backup Khiry Robinson also getting some carries.
Chances are, Ingram’s role will be limited if he returns Sunday. But going forward, the Saints will probably give Ingram every opportunity to move back into a time-share with Thomas as the featured runners in base packages. Robinson has shown promise in small doses, but he likely will remain behind the three veterans in the pecking order.