Toe injury leaves Saints' Mark Ingram questionable for showdown vs. Falcons

METAIRIE, La. -- One-half of the NFL's most dynamic running back duo is questionable for Thursday night's NFC South showdown in Atlanta.

Mark Ingram apparently will be a game-day decision for the New Orleans Saints after he was held out of full-team drills for the second straight day Wednesday with a toe injury. He is listed as questionable on the injury report.

There is still reason for optimism that Ingram will play, since the team didn't rule him out before making the trip to Atlanta, and since Ingram was present for the early portion of practice that was open to the media on Tuesday. (Wednesday's walk-through practice was closed to the media). It's possible that the Saints were just backing off of Ingram's workload on a short week.

However, if Ingram can't play, the Saints are still in great hands with rookie running back Alvin Kamara, who has shown an ability to be an every-down back as both a runner and receiver this year.

Kamara has 606 rushing yards, 614 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. And he leads the NFL with 7.0 yards per carry.

Ingram has 922 rushing yards, 255 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Together, they are on pace to become the first pair of running back teammates each with more than 1,500 yards from scrimmage in NFL history.

The Saints (9-3) have a chance to widen their lead in the NFC South on Thursday night at Atlanta. The Carolina Panthers (8-4) are in second place, but the Saints swept their regular-season meetings against Carolina. The Falcons (7-5) are two games back -- but this will be the first of two meetings between the Saints and Falcons over the next three weeks.

New Orleans definitely will be without starting left guard Andrus Peat, who was ruled out Wednesday with a groin injury.

Peat will be missed. But the Saints have a very experienced backup in veteran Senio Kelemete. And ideally they will get left tackle Terron Armstead back from thigh and shoulder injuries that sidelined him last week. Peat replaced Armstead at left tackle when he was hurt, with Kelemete filling in for Peat.

The Saints are also hoping to get standout rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore (ankle) and rookie safety Marcus Williams (groin) back from injuries after they both practiced on a limited basis all week. They are both listed as questionable, along with Armstead and defensive end Trey Hendrickson (knee).