METAIRIE, La. -- Mark Ingram pulled a protective walking boot out of his locker and set it on the floor, then acknowledged that he might have to sit out with a sprained toe on his left foot when the New Orleans Saints visit the Tennessee Titans this weekend.
If that turns out to be the case, the consolation for New Orleans is that last season's leading rusher, Chris Ivory, is eagerly awaiting another chance to play.
Ingram missed practice Wednesday and said he still hoped to face the Titans, but he also noted he has never had a so-called "turf toe" injury and couldn't be certain how quickly he would recover.
"At the end of the day, it's like, whatever's best for the team," Ingram said. "If I feel like I can play and bring my best to the table, I'm going to go. But if I can't bring my best to the table, if that's what's best for the team, then I'll sit it down."
With all four of the Saints' top running backs healthy, coach Sean Payton decided to go with a rotation of Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, leaving Ivory to watching from the sideline the last two weeks as a healthy scratch.
Payton said he wouldn't necessarily be more cautious with Ingram's injury simply because Ivory is ready to go.
"Our approach would be just as we always have," Payton said. "If we feel the player can play and is ready to play, we'll do that."
Notes: Also missing practice Wednesday were DE Turk McBride (left ankle) and LB Jonathan Casillas (right knee). Payton said Casillas' injury stemmed from Sunday night's game. ... The Saints intended to practice outside Wednesday, but because it was windy, they decided to move inside so as not to endanger staff who film practice from raised platforms. Sunday's game marks the Saints' first outdoor game since a Week 6 loss at Tampa Bay.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press