ATLANTA — The Saints are without running back Darren Sproles against the Falcons.
Sproles is inactive for the first time this season after missing practices on Tuesday and Wednesday with ankle and knee injuries. Sproles is third on the team in rushing and receiving and is the team's top return specialist.
The Saints' balance at running back will help. New Orleans will have Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram as its top running backs in Thursday night's game.
The Saints also are without starting right guard Jahri Evans (ankle).
Two key Atlanta starters, tight end Tony Gonzalez (toe) and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (triceps), are active after being limited in practice. Defensive end Malliciah Goodman (calf) is not playing.
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org
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