Sproles injury could clear Saints' RB jam

November, 2, 2012
11/02/12
2:58
PM ET
The New Orleans Saints will be without running back/return man Darren Sproles for Monday night’s game with Philadelphia.

Sproles has a broken hand that required surgery, Mike Triplett reports. Interim head coach Joe Vitt wasn’t setting any timetable for Sproles’ return.

But we know he’ll at least miss the game with the Eagles and that’s going to have a major impact on New Orleans’ offense. Sproles creates matchup problems as a runner and a receiver and the Saints don’t have anyone that can duplicate what he does.

Fact is, they shouldn’t even try to duplicate Sproles. They’ve got plenty of other running backs that are capable of doing good things. Pierre Thomas is a solid all-around back and Mark Ingram was a first-round pick last year.

This also could mean more playing time for Chris Ivory, who has been invisible all season, and even for rookie Travaris Cadet.

But I think the Saints should just focus on getting Thomas and Ingram heavily involved in the running game. The Saints haven’t had a lot of balance in their offense this season, mostly because they’ve been playing from behind and throwing a lot.

But Thomas and Ingram have the skills to be effective in the running game. It’s time to start letting them do what they do best.

Besides, a little more running might eat up some clock and keep the New Orleans defense off the field.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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