The New Orleans Saints are giving running back Mark Ingram one more shot. The former first-round pick is entering a contract season. He has never surpassed more than 700 yards from scrimmage or five touchdowns in a season, but right now, he is on top of the team's running back depth chart.
Ingram ran with the first-team offense during Saturday's practice while Pierre Thomas worked with the second team. Head coach Sean Payton referred to Ingram as "one of our starters" later in the day.
"He's a guy that we felt played very well in the last half of the season," Payton said of Ingram. "It's a position where we obviously carry depth, because it's a position that gets nicked up in our game. (Ingram) is smart. He's tough. He runs with good pad level. So far, he's doing well."
Ingram had a big game against Dallas in Week 10, but which running back didn't slice and dice that defense last season? Past that, he averaged 3.7 yards per carry and has never averaged four yards per carry in a season.
There might be a few more carries to go around with Darren Sproles now in Philadelphia, but that work could be taken up by Khiry Robinson or Travaris Cadet instead of Ingram.
Thomas remains the most valuable Saints running back for fantasy purposes because his proficiency as a runner and receiver. Ingram is an RB4 at best. I stopped waiting for a breakout some time ago.