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Tony Jones

Saints backup might be a Week 12 factor

The Saints don't have much interest in giving the media any more information than is absolutely required. We really have no idea how long Alvin Kamara will be out with his knee injury. And now we have to wonder whether Mark Ingram will be available tomorrow night, or if we should be scrambling to add Tony Jones.

Ingram has been very solid while filling in for Kamara in recent weeks, but he popped up on Monday's injury report with a knee injury (New Orleans didn’t actually practice), and he didn't practice on Tuesday. Ingram was still playing on New Orleans' final series in the loss at Philadelphia last week, despite the Saints trailing 40-22, so if Ingram was hurt it either happened on the final play or two or maybe while grabbing his newspaper Monday morning.

Whatever the case, those hoping to use Ingram against Buffalo on Thursday night will need to monitor the Saints' final injury report and also check the inactives on Thanksgiving. And should probably see if they can add Tony Jones.

Jones was the backup at the start of the season, enabling the team to release Latavius Murray. But he got hurt and has been on IR, so the team acquired Ingram. But now Jones is healthy (he spelled Ingram last week), and he might be needed to start.

The second-year back caught our eye in the preseason. Those games don't count, but he was effective in the exhibitions. He carried 12 times for 106 yards and a touchdown, averaging 53 yards in his two games and 8.8 per attempt. Among all back to rush for at least 75 yards in the preseason, that was the best average per carry.

PRESEASON RUSHING, 2021 (75-PLUS YARDS)
PlayerGAttYdsYds/GAvgTD
Tony Jones, N.O.21210653.08.81
J.J. Taylor, N.E.32317959.77.81
Rhamondre Stevenson, N.E.33021672.07.25
Scottie Phillips, Hou.32515551.76.21
Deon Jackson, Ind.31911036.75.81
Craig Reynolds, Det.3158729.05.82
Chuba Hubbard, Car.32613946.35.40
Ty'Son Williams, Balt.32413043.35.41
Josh Adams, NYJ2147638.05.40
Artavis Pierce, Chi.3178929.75.20
JaMycal Hasty, S.F.33517658.75.03
Jacques Patrick, S.F.33115652.05.01
Ameer Abdullah, Minn.3178528.35.00
Javian Hawkins, LAR3209732.34.91
Corey Clement, NYG3188628.74.80
Derrick Gore, K.C.3188628.74.80
Dexter Williams, G.B.3178227.34.80
Larry Rountree, LAC32210234.04.60
Elijah Holyfield, Cin.2209145.54.60
Caleb Huntley, Atl.3209130.34.61
Wayne Gallman, Atl.33415351.04.50
Rico Dowdle, Dall.3229933.04.50
Asim Rose, Min.33715150.34.12
Nate McCrary, Balt.34216354.33.91
Jaret Patterson, Wash.32811036.73.91
Ty Johnson, NYJ32810836.03.91
Patrick Taylor, G.B.3238929.73.90
Mekhi Sargent, Tenn.34918762.33.81
BJ Emmons, L.V.3249030.03.81
Trey Ragas, L.V.32810234.03.62
Michael Carter, NYJ3248628.73.60
Brian Hill, Clev.33412040.03.50
Xavier Jones, LAR3279431.33.50
Spencer Brown, Car.3248428.03.51
Damarea Crockett, Den.33411438.03.40
Gerrid Doaks, Mia.3268829.33.42
Brenden Knox, Dall.4258621.53.40
John Kelly, Clev.3278729.03.21
Benny LeMay, Ind.3288327.73.01
JaQuan Hardy, Dall.4267719.33.00
Jaylen Samuels, Pitt.4318922.32.91

Jones won't necessarily play much if Ingram is healthy, but should start if the veteran can't go. Buffalo has the league's top-ranked pass defense, but is more vulnerable to the run. Jones should be rostered where available, just in case.

--Andy Richardson

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