New Orleans running back Mark Ingram will be available when the Saints play the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. Ingram missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday due to a toe injury, and the Saints considered the former All-American of Alabama questionable in his injury report for the rivalry game NFC South.
But Ingram is not among the seven players designated inactive by New Orleans for Thursday night's game. Each NFL team has 53 players on its active list, but only 46 can play in one game. Ninety minutes before the start of the game, a team must designate the seven players who will not adapt.
The availability of Ingram means that the Zoom portion of the Saints' "Boom and Zoom" corridor combo will not have to go alone against the Falcons.
New Orleans fans have been trying to establish a nickname for Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara, as their productive play helped propel the Saints to a 9-3 record.
"I think there's one like Boom and Zoom, I like that one," Ingram told reporters this week. "You see them everywhere, there was a Boom and a Zoom, and I think there was a Smash and Dash, but I think the Boom and Zoom is my favorite so far, it's something unique, and I have not done it. That has been my favorite so far, I've seen many things in my mentions, it's fun to watch …
"See boom is everything. It's explosive, fast, powerful. I do not care, Boom. It's like & # 39; Boom! & # 39; I do not want a nickname that makes me look like the great power because that is not me. I can do that, but I try to be a great power, but I feel I can do everything and be versatile in many ways. I like a name that can reflect that. I like Boom and Zoom. "
Ingram Kamara has run for 606 yards and seven touchdowns on 86 carries and caught 60 passes for 614 yards and four touchdowns.
Ingram and Kamara are in way they would join Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack of the Cleveland Browns in 1985.
They are already the first RB team runners to have at least 100 scrimmage yards per head in four consecutive games since Roger Craig and Wendell Tyler of the San Francisco 49ers in 1985. Ingram and Kamara are also on track to be the first pair of runners to average at least 95 yards of scrimmage and score at least five touchdowns on the field. Ackson of the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987. Ingram's next touchdown will make New Orleans the first team with two runners with at least 1,000 yards of scrimmage and 10 touchdowns in the same season since the 1998 Cincinnati Bengals, which had James Brooks and Ickey Woods.
"We're trying to be the best of all, we've told you so," Ingram said. "We go hand in hand." If I punish them, lowering them down, hitting them in the mouth, he goes in and goes over the edge and is breaking tackles and making people lose, scoring touchdowns, friend, we both benefit. "
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Not that Ingram would not like to be the battle ball carrier of New Orleans: "I still want to be there more and carry the ball more," Ingram said, but will not argue with the results.
"It's working, and there are enough touches for both of us," Ingram said. "We're both staying healthy, we're both staying cool and we can make it work and we can help our team be in a position to win games, and that's what we want to do, and for that we prepare. "
For New Orleans fans who thought they would never live to see the day that coach Sean Payton's offense would feature big-play runners in place of the prolific quarterback Drew Brees, Ingram thought it might happen.
"I felt it was a possibility if we ran the ball," Ingram said. "I only know that the offense is open and puts us in a primary position to make plays … I felt it was possible, especially for one, maybe not for two, but it's crazy how this year is happening."
New Orleans would open a three-game lead over the defending NFC South champion with three games to win on Thursday night.
A loss in New Orleans, however, would put the Falcons back in the division race. The Saints play against the New York Jets and Atlanta plays against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week, then New Orleans will host the Falcons on December 24 on the penultimate weekend of the regular season.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ AMarkG1.