New Orleans Saints’ All-Pro guard Jahri Evans had a streak of 122 consecutive starts snapped Sunday because of a hamstring injury he suffered in the second quarter of last week’s game with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Evans, who started 114 regular-season games and eight postseason games in a row since joining the Saints as a fourth-round draft pick in 2006, was held out of practice all week and dressed but did not play in a 31-7 win against the Arizona Cardinals.
That was the good news for Evans, who hopes to return to the lineup for the Saints’ next game: a Sept. 30 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
“It was pretty tough,” Evans said of sitting one out. “But we got the win.
“That’s what was most important,” he added. “We just wanted to be smart about things and not make it worse. I should be good for next week with more treatment and having an extra day because it’s on a Monday night.”
Rookie Tim Lelito, who made the team as an undrafted free agent this summer, started in Evans’ place at right guard.
Saints running back Mark Ingram, who did not practice all week because of a toe injury, was inactive Sunday.
Ingram, who suffered a turf toe injury that ended his rookie season prematurely in 2011 and required surgery, was listed as questionable by coach Sean Payton on Friday but was held out of the game.
In addition to Ingram, the Saints inactives were safety Roman Harper (knee), safety Isa Abdul-Quddus (ankle), nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley (calf), defensive end Tom Johnson (hamstring), wide receiver Nick Toon and cornerback Rod Sweeting.
Inactives of note for the Cardinals were defensive tackle Dan Williams (personal) and linebacker Kevin Minter (hamstring). Minter is a former LSU standout.
Williams didn’t make the trip after his father, Thomas, was killed in a car accident on Friday near Grenada, Miss.
For the Saints, wide receiver Lance Moore left in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury and did not return.
For the Cardinals, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander left the game with a right foot injury in the first quarter, safety Rashard Johnson injured a finger in the second period, and linebacker Sam Acho left in the third quarter with an ankle problem.
None of them returned to the game.
Getting on the board
The Cardinals had two firsts Sunday when they scored for the first time in the opening period and allowed their first points of the season in that period.
After taking the opening kickoff, the Cardinals drove 80 yards in 11 plays to a 3-yard touchdown run by Alfonso Smith.
On the ensuing drive, the Saints’ offense marched 80 yards in eight plays to put up the first points in the first quarter against the Cardinals this season on a 27-yard touchdown from Drew Brees to Robert Meachem.
Instead of returning home to Phoenix, the Cardinals chartered flight will head to Tampa, Fla., where they will play the Buccaneers on Sunday.
The Cardinals will set up camp and practice in nearby Bradenton.
The last time they did that in the regular season was in 2008 when they sandwiched games with the Washington Redskins and New York Jets around a week of practice in northern Virginia.
Since a 45-14 playoff loss to the Saints in the Superdome on Jan. 16, 2010, the Cardinals, who claimed back-to-back NFC West titles in 2008 when they went to Super Bowl XLIII and in 2009, have a 19-32 record.
Saints rookie defensive end Glenn Foster, who was questionable after missing the first two games with an ankle injury, was active for the first time. Foster recorded his first career sack against Carson Palmer in the third period. … Running back Darren Sproles’ 15-yard run in the third quarter was the longest of the season for the Saints until rookie Khiry Robinson topped that with a 21-yarder in the final period. … Veteran NFL official Greg Gautreaux, of Lafayette, was the field judge for Sunday’s game.