Saints coach Sean Payton: Chris Ivory will play Sunday at Rams if Ingram is inactive

Saints rookie running back Mark Ingram is recovering from a deep heel bruise heel, however, if he’s unable to go Sunday in St. Louis, coach Sean Payton said Chris Ivory would almost certainly be in the lineup.

“Yes, I think so,” Payton said. “Just think about that, though, if Mark couldn’t go, we’d go into the game with just two halfbacks.”

Although X-rays came back negative concerning the Alabama alum’s heel, he’s still considered day-to-day according to Payton.

“I think with him it’s day to day because really we’re just dealing with soreness and a bruise,” Payton said. “We’re dealing with that issue of just the pain and the swelling and those types of things. It’s not an ankle sprain. It’s the bottom of his heel. I think it’s day to day. I think tomorrow morning we see how he’s feeling, and we just keep tracking his progress.”

As for Ivory, the Saints coach has been anxiously awaiting his well-anticipated return.

“Three weeks ago I think we were discussing him, and I would say probably for the last two games he would have been healthy and ready to play and certainly is now,” Payton said, adding one week to the “certainty” schedule Ivory offered in the locker room.

Right now, it certainly looks like nothing is in the way of Ivory returning to the gridiron.

“No, nothing is holding me back right now, but I’m still going to do all the little things, maintenance and massages and anytime I feel a little something I’m going to get it taken care of, but as of right now, no, there’s nothing holding me back,” he said. “Yeah, most definitely I could play, but like I said this whole week is going to play a big deal in whether I get reps this Sunday. Until then, take it day by day and just install as much as I can and learn as much as I can before the game starts.”

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