Darren Sproles questionable, will get full workload if he plays

AP

The Saints have officially listed running back and return man Darren Sproles as questionable on their injury report for Sunday’s game at Oakland, but the Saints’ coaching staff sounds optimistic that he’ll be able to handle a full workload if swelling in his surgically repaired hand isn’t a problem.

Sproles, who has missed the last two games after breaking his hand, participated in practice today and still had some swelling. But Saints coach Joe Vitt said that if Sproles is able to play at all, he’ll be back to handling the team’s punt and kickoff returns.

Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael also said that Sproles will get time on offense in the four-running back rotation with Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram, and that Carmichael is ready to call the plays that take advantage of the skills of all four running backs. According to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Carmichael said he might end up featuring one running back over the others, but that would be a matter of riding the hot hand, not holding Sproles back because of his broken hand.

So despite talk when Sproles first got hurt that his injury could keep him out for four to six weeks, it appears that he’ll be back after missing just two weeks.