In the competition for carries in New Orleans, Pierre Thomas is falling behind Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson.
Thomas was the team’s leading rusher last year, with 147 carries for 549 yards, but the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Ingram and Robinson have moved ahead of Thomas, who took a pay cut to remain in New Orleans this offseason. In practice, Ingram and Robinson are splitting first-team reps while Thomas works with the second team.
Ingram and Robinson both played well in the Saints’ preseason opener, while Thomas didn’t play for reasons the Saints haven’t fully explained. The Saints’ depth chart lists Ingram as the starter, Robinson as No. 2 and Thomas at third string.
Thomas will likely still get plenty of playing time this season in the passing game, as Thomas is the most accomplished receiver of the three: Thomas caught 77 passes last season, while Ingram caught just seven and Robinson has never caught a pass in a regular-season game. In fact, Thomas may get even more passes thrown his way this year than he did last year, thanks to the departure of Darren Sproles.
But in the running game, it looks like Thomas, who will turn 30 this season, has been passed up by two younger backs.