NEW ORLEANS — With running back Darren Sproles out with a broken left hand, the New Orleans Saints were forced to go deep into their stable of halfbacks for Monday night’s game with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sproles is out indefinitely, which gave more carries to Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory, who hadn’t played a down in the first seven games. Meanwhile, Sproles’ kickoff return duties were handled by rookie running back Travaris Cadet with wide receiver Lance Moore dropping back on punts.
After a shaky start for the Saints’ run defense, cornerback Patrick Robinson provided a much-needed spark for his team with an interception off Michael Vick and 99-yard return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
It was the first defensive touchdown of the season for the NFL’s 32nd-ranked defense and also was the first of Robinson’s three-year career.
The 99-yard interception return tied the club mark set by free safety Darren Sharper in a 24-10 victory over the New York Jets on Oct. 4, 2009.
Colston moves up
Saints wide receiver Marques Colston caught a 1-yard scoring pass from Drew Brees with 1:13 to play in the second quarter, which moved Colston into second place on the club’s all-time list with 54 touchdowns.
Colston, who set the franchise record for receiving touchdowns in a victory over the Tampa Bay Bucs on Oct. 21, broke a tie with Dalton Hilliard and moved to within one score of Deuce McAllister’s club mark of 55 touchdowns.
With the short scoring toss to Colston, Brees extended his NFL-record streak with at least one touchdown pass to 51 consecutive games.
Brees broke Johnny Unitas’ all-time record with a touchdown pass in 47 straight games in the Saints’ last home game against the San Diego Chargers.
In addition to Sproles, the Saints inactives were WR Courtney Roby (shoulder), LB David Hawthorne, DE Turk McBride, CB Elbert Mack, DT Tyrunn Walker and T Bryce Harris.
Inactives of note for the Eagles were G Danny Watkins (ankle), WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring) and S Nate Allen (hamstring). Watkins is the Eagles’ starting right guard.
For the Saints, DE Junior Galette injured an ankle in the first quarter and did not return, but X-rays were negative. … Also, DT Brodrick Bunkley left with an undisclosed injury in the second quarter, but returned. Eagles’ RT Todd Herremans limped off in the first quarter and didn’t return.
The Saints have won 12 consecutive games and 14 of their last 15 games played in the month of November. Their last loss in that month was on Nov. 30, 2008 at Tampa Bay. … The Saints are now 10-2 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football since that network took over that time slot in 2006. … Center Matt Tennant, a 2010 fifth-round draft pick of the Saints, is the Eagles’ backup center. He was waived by the Saints at the end of training camp and was briefly with New England before being picked up by Philadelphia. … The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Pride of Acadiana Marching Band provided the halftime entertainment Monday night.