More bad news for the Saints:
According to sources close to the team, New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is expected to miss at least one month with a broken hand he sustained Sunday.
Saints coach Sean Payton refused to elaborate on the injury at this time.
“Nothing now,” Payton said. “I thought he ran really good. Shoot, he played incredibly hard (in Sundays 26-24 loss against the Browns). But I don’t want to give away any specifics today regarding to any of theses guys with injuries.”
A source confirmed that Ingram did suffer the injury in the first half, but had trainers tape up his hand and wrist area and returned to the field. He continued to thrive after returning to the contest, finishing with 11 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown, plus three carries for 21 yards.
Aug 15, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The former Heisman winner and first-round draft pick is off to his best start yet with this season in his up and down four year career. The injury is definitely a tough blow for Ingram who is averaging about six yards per carry so far this season, gaining 143 yards on 24 carries with three touchdown runs.
Without mention, its definitely another tough blow for the Saints as well, a team that has started the season 0-2 due to two last second losses. Ingram as with out a doubt been one of the Saints most dependable players this season.
But before you break out the hard liquor and the xanax Saints fans lets talk about what this actually means for the team.
Even though right now it feels like the Saints are experiencing the full effects of Murphy’s Law, if any team is equipped for a loss like this it is the New Orleans Saints.
They have great depth with both Pierre Thompson and Khiry Robinson available, and both guys are more than capable of filling the void. And giving that the Saints were in a running back timeshare anyway, Ingram was only averaging 14 touches per game.
I know. I know. It seems like I’m just brushing off Ingram, to say we will be just fine with out him, but Saints have the position covered and there are more vital players we could have lost for a month.
We hate it more for Ingram, after three turbulent years filled with injuries and inconsistencies things were coming together for him and the team was definitely starting to rely on him more than in seasons past.
Since the Saints traded Darren Sproles in the offseason, Ingram was finally freed up to play in more versatile packages instead of the base and short-yardage packages like he was mostly used for in recent years.
So not only was Ingram healthy and running great, he was finally playing the versatile role he yearned for.
Both of Ingrams touchdown runs in Atlanta in week 1 came out of a shotgun formation with four receivers and a tight ends split wide. And did you see some of the cuts he was making Sunday in Cleveland?!
Ideally the team will have the same success with Thomas and Robinson, both of whom also have played very well in less predicable roles so far this season.
New Orleans’ entire run game has been thriving since late last season when Ingram and Robinson both had breakout performances during playoffs. Payton has shown faith in the run game during the first two weeks, despite the games outcomes, so theres no reason to expect a significant drop off with out Ingram.
We just wish Ingram a speedy recovery, so that he can bring his passion and competitiveness back to the field.