Mark Ingram returns to the Saints, however far gone from his 2017 kind

Guess who has one pointy finger and is back in New Orleans?

Guess who has one pointy finger and is again in New Orleans?
Picture: Getty Pictures

Yesterday, the Houston Texans traded their lead operating again, Mark Ingram, to the New Orleans Saints together with a swap of late-round draft picks.

Saints followers and gamers rejoiced on the news of their former Professional Bowl halfback returning to the Crescent Metropolis. Ingram’s former backfield battery mate, Alvin Kamara, was particularly thrilled to be taught the news of Ingram’s return.

In the meantime, one other former Saint, now on the Texans, had a really totally different response.

Cooks is correct. That is BS for him. No person ought to must endure catching passes from Davis Mills. However it’s not BS for Ingram, and it’s not BS for the Saints. New Orleans has struggled with halfback consistency all season. When the Saints had Latavius Murray, there was no such concern. Murray may are available in and maintain Kamara’s legs recent whereas additionally offering a serviceable skill to get powerful yards in between the tackles. Nonetheless, with Murray making the transfer to Baltimore within the offseason, the Saints not had that strong change-of-pace choice. The Saints did have that choice when Tony Jones Jr. and Dwayne Washington had been wholesome, however with each injured, buying and selling for somebody who’s conversant in the system, liked by a lot of the gamers on the staff, and was already in a crowded backfield on a staff trying to tank for subsequent yr, simply is sensible.

The Saints have been decimated by accidents and departures of high offensive gamers. Except for Jones and Washington, there’s after all Michael Thomas, who has but to see the sphere in 2021. Adam Trautman began the season on the injured reserve, and the staff’s main receiver from 2020 (excluding Alvin Kamara), Emmanuel Sanders, went up north to Buffalo within the offseason. Even Taysom Hill is having damage hassle now, and we all know that Sean Payton likes to get wacky and hand the ball off to him typically.

Mark Ingram has suffered solely one injury since 2017 — a calf pressure in 2019, and he missed just one sport. That sturdiness will likely be a breath of recent air in New Orleans, and for a staff missing within the weapon division on offense, somebody who can’t solely keep wholesome, but additionally deal with a function again workload (13.1 dashing makes an attempt per sport in 2021; Ingram recorded solely 11.5 carries per sport in his ultimate yr with New Orleans), will take tons of weight off Kamara’s shoulders. Don’t get me fallacious. Kamara will nonetheless be the function again and can nonetheless be the man the staff leans on to hold the offense, but it surely’s a lot simpler to hold a staff in your again when your legs are recent.

Ingram is unquestionably not the identical runner he was in 2018. The truth is, he’s presently final place within the NFL in yards per carry amongst halfbacks with a minimum of 50 carries.

Nonetheless, shifting from the Texans’ O-line, which presently ranks dead last in adjusted line yards (3.14) to the Saints’ offensive line which ranks seventh in that class (4.54) is clearly a large improve that ought to assist Ingram’s effectivity. I imply, everyone knows how loaded the Saints’ offensive line is with Ryan Ramczyk, Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, and Cesar Ruiz. The Texans have Laremy Tunsil…and he’s on Injured Reserve.

Ingram clearly isn’t the nice again he as soon as was. In 2021, he ranks thirty second in defense-adjusted yards above replacement, proper above Mike Davis. That’s not who you need to end up subsequent to on any record, however effectivity apart, a again like Ingram is strictly what the Saints want proper now.

It’s good to see Ingram again in a Saints jersey. It feels pure. To not point out that Ingram is simply 90 dashing yards away from being the Saints’ all-time leading rusher. Saints’ head coach Sean Payton has already mentioned he expects Ingram to be an “important addition”, and that the previous Heisman winner will likely be enjoying with the staff this Sunday in opposition to Tampa Bay. Ingram gained’t break the report this week. Not solely will he want a while to re-adjust to the Saints’ system, however the Bucs have been probably the most stout run defenses within the NFL this yr. A minimum of, that was till they gave up 100 yards on 18 carries to Khalil Herbert final week. Nov. 7 at residence in opposition to the Falcons although…we would see some historical past.

I’m excited to see what this upcoming NFL commerce deadline, Nov. 2, has in retailer for us. There are a number of groups in want of operating again assist (Seattle, Baltimore, and the Chargers — Ekeler has by no means managed a function function and Jackson, Kelley, and Roundtree aren’t precisely probably the most dependable) and a number of other extra groups trying to dump some operating again expertise (Colts — Marlon Mack; Broncos — Melvin Gordon; Texans — Phillip Lindsay, David Johnson, and Rex Burkhead). Now that the halfback floodgates have opened, we may see a number of extra across the nook. The Saints had been sensible to choose up Ingram earlier than another person did, and it may repay in a giant approach. | Mark Ingram returns to the Saints, however far gone from his 2017 kind

Huynh Nguyen

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