Mark Ingram had eight carries for 83 yards and a 22-yard touchdown in the first half and the New Orleans Saints won their preseason opener without Drew Brees, beating the St. Louis Rams 26-24 on Friday night.
Sam Bradford didn't play either, held out by the Rams as a precaution coming off knee surgery.
Greg Zuerlein was barely wide left on a 59-yard field goal attempt on the final play after missing a 46-yard attempt with just under six minutes remaining.
Rookie Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL, made a solid debut as a reserve defensive end for St. Louis.
Luke McCown started in place of Brees, limited by a left oblique injury the past week. First-round pick Brandin Cooks caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from third-stringer Ryan Griffin in the third quarter.
Shaun Hill got the start for St. Louis and threw two touchdown passes in the first half.