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How will Saints use Mark Ingram vs. 49ers?

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Saints running back Mark Ingram says he'll gut through a shoulder injury and play against the 49ers on Sunday despite being listed as questionable.

He just won't have much help in that effort.

The Saints will officially be without Khiry Robinson (arm) and Pierre Thomas (ribs) this week, according to the team. That will make establishing a running game quite difficult, especially because the team was already worried about extending Ingram's reps.

That puts them in a difficult position on Sunday, especially since San Francisco's defense is still good enough to shut down a team that is one-dimensional.

Ingram's rise has been a large part of the Saints' recent success. The former first-round pick carried the ball more times against Carolina and Green Bay - 54 - than he has over any two week period in his NFL career. He's been a pace setter for an offense that has never truly gotten the credit due for the running game they've helped foster.

Still, continuing that pace against a physical defense won't be easy without reliable help.

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