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What can you expect from dinged-up Mark Ingram Thursday night?

What should fantasy managers expect to see from the dinged-up Mark Ingram Thursday evening? Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

There is only one name on the Thursday night injury report that has the attention of fantasy footballers: running back Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints. Ingram comes into the game listed as questionable with a toe ailment but is expected to play, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ingram appeared on the team's Monday injury report, listed as a limited participant, but this was merely a projection, as the team did not hold practice that day. On Tuesday, the day often regarded as the most significant practice session in a short week, Ingram did not participate, raising a bit more concern. He remained out again for Wednesday's session and was designated as questionable on the pregame injury report.

It's worth noting that Ingram has not been spotted in any type of protective boot or shoe, however, and he was present for practice, despite not participating. Not only does this suggest the injury is not particularly serious, but his presence would indicate his involvement in the pregame mental preparation elements.

The concern now might be more about the role for Ingram on Thursday night, assuming he is indeed active. One of the biggest storylines of this Saints offense has been the running back tandem of Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Between them, they have 2,337 yards from scrimmage and a combined 20 touchdowns. As individuals, each has posted the type of numbers feature backs aspire to, numbers that are rarely seen when there is a duo in the backfield splitting carries.

Perhaps the secret lies in their ability to both run and catch the ball, but when it comes to running, Kamara is the more elusive runner (longer to first contact) while Ingram is the grinder with, typically, a heavier volume of carries. That volume may be negotiable in Thursday night's game should Ingram's toe begin to bother him -- and Kamara would presumably adopt the heavier load.

Unfortunately, even if Ingram is active (as he is expected to be, barring a surprise) there is no way to predict how he will fare as the game evolves, but it seems unlikely the Saints would have him take the field if they were legitimately concerned about the prospect of a multiweek setback. After all, the success of this running back duo is enhanced by the balance they seem to have struck with both playing a feature role in the Saints' offense.