The Saints have placed rookie running back Mark Ingram and linebacker Will Herring on injured reserve, ending their seasons.
Ingram, who won the 2009 Heisman Trophy at Alabama, missed New Orleans’ last four games because of a sprained toe on his left foot. Coach Sean Payton says the injury got worse during practice last week and basically ensured he wouldn’t be able to catch up in time to contribute this season.
Ingram carried 122 times for 474 yards and five touchdowns this season. His longest run was a 35-yard touchdown against the New York Giants on Nov. 28.
In Ingram’s place will step Chris Ivory, who began the season on the physically unable to perform list before returning in Week 8 against St. Louis. In six games, Ivory has run for 374 yards, including 289 the past four weeks while Ingram sat out with the toe injury.
”I’ve always been ready to play,” Ivory said. ”For me, it’s always been about opportunity. Right now I’m feeling good and we’re in a playoff run.”
Herring hobbled off the field favoring his right knee against Carolina last Sunday and Payton says the linebacker has a sprained medial collateral ligament.
Herring, a reserve, was credited with five tackles on defense and four on special teams.
The Saints bumped up linebacker Nate Bussey from the practice squad to replace Herring. Bussey, a seventh-round selection by New Orleans in the 2011 draft, has spent all season with practice squad
New Orleans also signed offensive guard Eric Olsen off of the Washington Redskins’ practice squad to fill out their 53-man roster. The Saints were thin along the offensive line after waiving offensive tackle William Robinson on Dec. 28.