Chris Ivory is one of the strongest runners in the NFL, but the New Orleans Saints running back has to stay off of the disabled list in 2013. In a shocking turn of events the Saints placed a second-round tender on Ivory, who played in just six games with the team last season. With that signing the Saints now have four running backs under contract for the 2013 season.
It was a complete mess for the entire organization last year, so the absolute chaos at running back shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Here is a team that let LT Jermon Bushrod leave to the Chicago Bears, but insists on keeping injury-prone backs like Ivory on the team. Since coming into the league in 2010 Ivory has played in a total of 24 games — yes, he has missed one game for every NFL game that he has played in.
Whether I like the move or not is no longer important as the Saints have committed to Ivory for at least one more season. Although there is a total log-jam at this position, if Ivory plays better than Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram he still could make some money in the 2014 NFL offseason.
At the end of the year, I expect Ingram to be the full-time running back once again as he rushed for 602 yards in 16 games this past season. I would have a different tune if Ivory could stay healthy, but at 25-years-old he hasn’t found a way to stay on the field.
Some may overlook the Saints’ running game because of Drew Brees, but when the running game was effective, so were the Saints.