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.''

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

Upcoming Games

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Cleveland +5.5 -110

Tennessee -5.5 -110

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis -3 +100

Houston +3 +100

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Detroit +3 -115

Chicago -3 -115

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Jacksonville +10 -110

Minnesota -10 -110

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas -8 -110

NY Jets +8 -110

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans -3 -120

Atlanta +3 -120

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +10.5 -110

Miami -10.5 -110

@

Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

NY Giants +10.5 -110

Seattle -10.5 -110

@

Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

LA Rams -2.5 -110

Arizona +2.5 -110

@

Dec 6th, 4:25 PM

New England +1.5 -110

LA Chargers -1.5 -110

@

Dec 6th, 4:25 PM

Philadelphia +9 -110

Green Bay -9 -110

@

Dec 6th, 8:20 PM

Denver +13.5 -110

Kansas City -13.5 -110

@

Dec 7th, 5:00 PM

Washington +7 -110

Pittsburgh -7 -110

@

Dec 7th, 8:15 PM

Buffalo +1 -110

San Francisco -1 -110

@

Dec 8th, 8:05 PM

Dallas +7.5 -110

Baltimore -7.5 -110

@

Dec 10th, 8:20 PM

New England +6.5 -110

LA Rams -6.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Houston -1.5 -110

Chicago +1.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Tennessee -9.5 -110

Jacksonville +9.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Denver +4 -110

Carolina -4 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Minnesota +6 -110

Tampa Bay -6 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Arizona -3.5 -110

NY Giants +3.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Kansas City -7.5 -111

Miami +7.5 -111

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Dallas -3 -110

Cincinnati +3 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:05 PM

NY Jets +14.5 -110

Seattle -14.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:05 PM

Indianapolis -2 -110

Las Vegas +2 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Green Bay -7.5 -110

Detroit +7.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Washington +4 -110

San Francisco -4 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Atlanta +1 -110

LA Chargers -1 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

New Orleans -6.5 -110

Philadelphia +6.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 8:20 PM

Pittsburgh -2.5 -110

Buffalo +2.5 -110

@