Just when everybody was starting to think the New Orleans Saints were going to make Mark Ingram their feature back, things have taken a bit of a twist. Reports from Saints’ OTAs state that Ingram has been working primarily with the second team, while Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles are getting all the time with the first team.
It’s early, we are in June, but it does seem a bit odd that Ingram isn’t working with the first team. He’s led the Saints in carries each of the past two seasons, and with the departure of Chris Ivory, it seemed the team was clearing out the depth chart for him. While Ingram has been the most frequently used back the last couple years, he’s still split a lot of time . But even if he doesn’t win the starting job this season, just by the removal of Ivory, he still figures to get more work.
Again, it’s too early to read too much into Ingram working out with the second team, but it is a bit of a head-scratcher. Head coach Sean Payton could be using it as a motivational tactic, or he could just think that Thomas is the better option. I think the Saints need to give Ingram a full chance as the team’s feature back. He was a first round draft pick, and we all saw what he did in college, so why not give him a whirl?
That could in fact still be the plan, but regardless, it looks like Ingram will have to earn his status as the team’s top back.
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