The Saints will make a title defense without emerging runningback Chris Ivory.
The hardest running horse in the Saints' much-maligned stable, Ivory was placed on injured reserve and won't be available for their playoff run, starting this Saturday in Seattle.
Ivory emerged as a thumping yet speedy back, making the team as an improbable undrafted free agent signee out of Tiffin University, which plays in the Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. A former starter for Washington State, Ivory had character concerns after being kicked out of school.
A strong, highlight-making preseason performance allowed Ivory to win a job on the regular season roster, despite missing games with an MCL sprain suffered in the preseason finale.
In the Saints' first game against Seattle, Ivory battered the Seahawks for 65 first half yards and 99 on the day, and drew high praise from Pete Carroll after the game.
Ivory played in the regular season finale, but left the game with an apparent left foot injury. The Saints have so far refused to give an injury update on his condition.
The Saints have been brutalized at runningback this season. Ivory has joined Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas and Ladell Betts on an carousel of injuries at the position. DeShawn Wynn and Julius Jones have also been along for the ride part of the season.
To replace him on the roster, the Saints re-signed much-traveled Wynn, who went to training camp with the Saints but had since bounced around the league, including to San Francisco.