If not for a shoulder injury, Mark Ingram would have had a shot at finishing as a top-three running back last season. Ingram averaged an awesome 11.9 Fantasy points per game in 12 matchups last season, posting at least nine Fantasy points in 11 of them (and 21 of his last 25). He dominated carries and caught an unheard of 50 passes on 60 targets. He's still in position to lead the Saints' run game and plunge for touchdowns near the goal line. With Tim Hightower as the only threat for some touches (sorry, C.J. Spiller), Ingram shouldn't be underrated. With potential for close to 1,200 total yards and eight touchdowns, he's worth taking in middle-to-late Round 2 in all formats. There are injury concerns -- he has one season where he's played more than 13 games -- so adding Hightower with a late pick isn't a bad idea.
Ingram gained 17 yards on seven carries and failed to haul in his only target in Friday's preseason game against the Steelers. C.J. Spiller actually got the start and the first touch, but Ingram played the second and third snaps of the game. The two running backs rotated pretty evenly on the first-team offense, with Travaris Cadet also contributing a few catches while Drew Brees was still in the game. Though his role as the lead rusher is unquestioned, Ingram may find his per-game workload reduced from last season, as Spiller looks like a much different player now that he's finally healthy.
Ingram had seven carries for 18 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday's preseason opener, but he also lost a fumble. Ingram got a surprising amount of playing time for a presumed starter, splitting snaps with Tim Hightower and C.J. Spiller throughout the first half. Given how well Ingram played when he was healthy the past two seasons, the unusual decision isn't any cause for concern. However, it's unclear how much of a receiving workload he'll handle, as a healthier version of Spiller could take on a larger passing-down role. Ingram doesn't appear to have any lingering concerns from last year's torn rotator cuff.
The Saints restructured Ingram's (shoulder) contract Wednesday, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com reports. Ingram parlayed a career-high 964 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 2014 into a four-year contract last March. On pace to break those marks this past season, he played through a shoulder concern in Weeks 12 and 13, before the Saints discovered that a torn left rotator cuff was to blame. Surgery was quickly ordered up, ending his season with 769 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. He further expanded his game, though, with career bests in receptions (50) and receiving yards (405). Following the adjustment to his contract, a portion has been tabbed as a signing bonus, with the remaining to be spread across the years left on the deal.
Ingram is slated to undergo surgery Thursday to repair a torn left rotator cuff, ESPN.com reports. This info clarifies the nature of the issue that landed Ingram on IR, and given the timing of the procedure, the running back will have plenty of recovery time in advance of the 2016 season. Down the stretch, in Ingram's absence, the Saints figure to rely primarily on a backfield duo of C.J. Spiller and Tim Hightower, with Marcus Murphy on hand in a reserve role.
The Saints placed running back Mark Ingram (shoulder) on injured reserve Wednesday, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Initial fears have been realized, as tests on Ingram's shoulder will end his season prematurely. The Saints haven't revealed the nature of the issue, but coach Sean Payton will now turn to Tim Hightower and C.J. Spiller to man the backfield for the rest of the campaign.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/18||@New York Giants||26||20.38|
|4||10/02||@San Diego Chargers||30||21.50|
|7||10/23||@Kansas City Chiefs||4||13.44|
|9||11/06||@San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|12||11/27||Los Angeles Rams||23||18.50|
|14||12/11||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|16||12/24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|3 Year Avg||157||706||5||29||206||0||120|