Monday December 1st, 2014

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton stressed his team's satisfaction with its current running corps and denied the organization had any interest in signing reinstated running back Ray Rice, ESPN's Mike Triplett reported on Monday morning.

Payton added that running back Khiry Robinson, who has missed the last six weeks with an arm injury, was scheduled to return to the field next week when the Saints host the Carolina Panthers.

Payton's announcement regarding Robinson came in response to reports that the team was interested in acquiring reinstated former Ravens running back Ray Rice.

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"We like our running back depth," Payton said. "And if you do a little research, Khiry's coming back next week."

In Robinson's absence, New Orleans' ground attack has been led by Mark Ingram, whose four 100-yard games -- including 122 yards in a 35-32 victory over the Steelers on Sunday -- have helped the Saints to a 3-3 record over that period.

Ingram has 645 yards and six touchdowns on 149 carries in eight games this season.

Prior to his injury, Robinson, 24, rushed 64 times for 330 yards and two touchdowns in six games. He also tallied 245 total yards during Weeks 3 through 5, when Ingram was out with a hand injury.

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Robinson's 5.2 yards per attempt would be second in the league for running backs if he had a enough rushes to be eligible. Ingram's 4.5 yards per rush tie him for 10th in the league.

The Saints' backfield also includes Pierre Thomas, who in eight games this year has rushed 38 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns. He has also posted one touchdown and 257 yards on 34 receptions.

New Orleans is 5-7 and tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the lead in the NFC South. The Saints play the Carolina Panthers (3-8-1) in New Orleans on Sunday. 

- Christopher Woody

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