Shockey's season ends without a TD catch

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Jeremy Shockey, who was supposed to be the missing link in New Orleans' offense, will finish the season without a touchdown.

Coach Sean Payton said Friday that Shockey will miss Sunday's game against Carolina because of a sprained ankle. That means Shockey will finish the season with 50 catches for 483 yards while appearing in 12 games. Those aren't anywhere close to the numbers the Saints envisioned when they traded for Shockey on the eve of training camp.

Injuries played a big role in holding back Shockey's production. He missed three games because of a sports hernia and later said the injury limited his effectiveness at the start of the season.

New Orleans' offense could suffer another setback Sunday. Pierre Thomas, who has been the team's feature back in recent weeks, is questionable because of back and wrist injuries. If Thomas can't play, the Saints don't have many other options at running back with Reggie Bush and Aaron Stecker on the injured reserve list.

Deuce McAllister, who has played only a limited role most of the season, likely would be the starter. Mike Bell, who the Saints picked up late in the season, likely would be the backup.