The New Orleans Saints lost their second key running back this week.
The team placed fourth-year running back Pierre Thomas (ankle) on injured reserve. As noted previously, the team signed rookie running back Joique Bell off the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad to take Thomas' place on the 53-man roster.
Thomas played in only six games this season. He rushed for 269 yards and two touchdown and caught 29 passes for 201 yards.
With Thomas and rookie running back Chris Ivory (foot) on IR, the team will have to turn to fifth-year running back Reggie Bush and veteran Julius Jones to handle the rushing load against the host Seattle Seahawks for Saturday's wild card playoff game.
''That's tough,'' quarterback Drew Brees said of the loss of Thomas and Ivory this week. ''You can't deny that just because of the physical presence they bring and obviously their productivity.''
Brees said he remained optimistic that the versatility of the Saints' offense and the way they spread the ball among so many players will allow them to weather such injuries perhaps better than most teams.
''When you look at rest of the skill positions ... you find ways to pick up slack, spread the ball around, and hopefully you get some opportunities,'' Brees said.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.