Saints down Another Back
METAIRIE, La. — The defending champion Saints will have to try to repeat without their top two power running backs.
Pierre Thomas, one of the stars of last season's Super Bowl run, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday because of his injured ankle. The Saints made that move only one day after placing leading rusher Chris Ivory on injured reserve because of a left foot injury that occurred in the regular-season finale against the Bucs.
"That's tough," QB Drew Brees said of the loss of both backs. "You can't deny that, just because of the physical presence they bring and obviously their productivity."
When the Saints open the playoffs in Seattle on Saturday, the only remaining healthy running backs from their regular-season roster will be Reggie Bush and Julius Jones.
"Naturally, I'm going to have to step up," Bush said.
Bush missed eight games with a broken bone in his lower right leg. He has rushed for only 150 yards and has not scored a rushing touchdown this season.
Jones has 193 yards and no touchdowns rushing. The only other backs on the roster are former Gator DeShawn Wynn, who was signed Tuesday, and rookie Joique Bell, who was signed Wednesday from the Eagles practice squad.
Seahawks: Coach Pete Carroll remained evasive about who his starting quarterback would be for Saturday's game against New Orleans. Carroll continued to say that Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst would split practice reps, and both would be available.
"We'll just leave it open," Carroll said. "I want to get all the days in here. Each day is important for us to see how we're doing."
Whitehurst passed for a touchdown Sunday vs. St. Louis in place of Hasselbeck, who strained a hip muscle a week earlier against the Bucs. Hasselbeck went through pregame warmups and seemed ready to play.