Rankins (lower leg) was able to return to practice Wednesday while remaining on IR, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com reports.

At this point Rankins will be eligible to return to game action Week 9 against the 49ers, given he logs two weeks of practice prior to that tilt. He's returning from a broken fibula injury that required surgery in August, but he'll compete for a starting spot at defensive tackle barring any setbacks.

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