LeGarrette Blount prepared to carry the load after layoff

After missing nearly a month with a sprained left knee, LeGarrette Blount is poised to return and get a bigger workload than he had before.

That’s because Earnest Graham, the third-down back of choice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon the last time they team played, two weeks ago in London. Graham was subbing for Blount and went down on the second series of the game against the Chicago Bears.

Now, with first place in the NFC South on the line, Blount will get an extra dose of work Sunday at New Orleans.

I know I'm going to play third downs in this game,'' Blount said, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. "I probably won't play all of them but I know I'll play quite a few of them.

"I've shown that I know the protections and that I know the routes and that I can catch the ball so that's going to help us out tremendously. And it's going to help me stay in the game a little longer and play a lot more snaps.

"I feel good,'' Blount said. "Everything is back in (order); everything is back where it needs to be. My recovery was a little faster than we thought (it would be), so everything is going really well.''

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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