CB Keenan Lewis practices fully

Updated: January 8, 2014, 9:06 PM ET
By Mike Triplett | ESPN.com

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis, who suffered a concussion in the team's win over the Philadelphia Eagles this past weekend, practiced fully on Wednesday, meaning he's likely to play Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks.

However, the Saints were without running back Pierre Thomas (chest), who appears to be a long shot to return this weekend.

Guard Jahri Evans (ankle) and defensive end Akiem Hicks (ankle) were both limited on Wednesday.

Lewis' value to the team was more apparent than ever last week when he left the Saints' 26-24 victory over the Eagles late in the third quarter. The Eagles began picking on the Saints' young cornerbacks after that.

Lewis, who insisted Tuesday that he would be back this week, has been a vital part of the Saints' defensive success this year as a No. 1 cornerback who routinely matches up against the opponents' top receivers in-man coverage.

Thomas has also been a big part of the Saints' success this season as a do-everything running back (running/receiving/pass protection). However, the Saints are deep at running back -- which they proved during Thomas' absence last week at Philadelphia. Mark Ingram ran for 97 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Khiry Robinson ran for 45 yards, and Darren Sproles gained 60 yards from scrimmage.

Evans might be the most important name on the entire list, but the ankle injury shouldn't keep him from playing. The Saints have backed off of him in practice a bit in recent weeks, but the five-time Pro Bowler has continued to perform at a high level.

Hicks, whose injury is new this week, certainly would be missed if he can't play. He has been one of the more underrated reasons for the Saints' revitalized defense this year, and he would be especially against the Seahawks since he is a stout run defender. However, the Saints do have good depth at defensive end with backup linemen John Jenkins, Glenn Foster, Tom Johnson and Tyrunn Walker all available to help fill the void if needed.

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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