METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints running backs Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas, offensive tackle Zach Strief and linebacker David Hawthorne remained absent from Wednesday’s practice, leaving their status in doubt for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. Also, running back Mark Ingram (shoulder) was among those listed as limited in practice.
Robinson (arm) was listed as questionable for last Thursday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, which suggested that he might be close to returning. But he still has not practiced since suffering the injury in Week 7. So he’ll remain highly questionable again this week unless he’s back on the practice field Thursday.
The same goes for Thomas, who has been out since Week 5 with shoulder and rib injuries.
That could mean another heavy dose of Ingram, who should be fine despite the shoulder injury. CBS reported that Ingram was dealing with the shoulder injury during last Thursday’s game at Carolina, and he still managed to churn out 30 carries for 100 yards. Ingram has run for 272 yards and three touchdowns on 54 carries over the past two weeks.
Strief was listed as being out with a chest injury Wednesday. He left the Carolina game early with a back injury. It’s unclear if this is the same ailment. Either way, third-year pro Bryce Harris would replace him at right tackle if Strief can’t go. Harris has had some ups and downs in various appearances over the past two years, but he is an experienced alternative who should be steady with a full week of practice.
Hawthorne (hand) was replaced by veteran backup Ramon Humber when he was sidelined last week.
On a more positive front, Saints center Jonathan Goodwin could potentially return to play against his former team after missing the past two games with knee and ankle injuries. Goodwin practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Receiver Kenny Stills (thigh) also practiced on a limited basis.
Tight end Jimmy Graham, meanwhile, practiced fully for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 5.