Saints looking to fill backfield void during Mark Ingram's 4-game suspension
NEW ORLEANS - With veteran running back Mark Ingram on the shelf the first four weeks of the season, there's not much NFL experience in the Saints' backfield, minus rookie of the year Alvin Kamara.
In an effort to fill the void, New Orleans is hosting former Saints back Tim Hightower for a three-day tryout.
"I hope he sticks around, because he's a veteran guy that I think is a tremendous influence on young guys. Just the way that he works and the way that he approaches his job and his profession," QB Drew Brees said. "The type of guy he is, what he's overcome... I think they're great lessons that a lot of the young guys can learn from."
Running back Jamal Charles is also reportedly working out for the team, even though Sean Payton said earlier this offseason they had no plans of signing a veteran back.
"We have five guys that are out here working out for three days, which is pretty common. He's just someone who we will take a look at," Saints Head Coach Sean Payton said. "If we work anyone out here in the next few days it would be just to see what kind of shape and see how they're doing. That doesn't preclude us from signing someone, but that's pretty normal."
As for the rest of the staff, running back Mark Ingram had a message for his teammates: his temporary absence is not the end of the world.
"I'll be back. I will be ready. And those guys need to step up. Alvin is going to do a good job. I'm sure of it," Ingram said. "And the rest of the guys, they are going to do a good job preparing, putting themselves in a position to have success. I'll be rooting on my teammates real hard, and hopefully we are 4-0 when I come back."
Although Ingram didn't go into specifics about his four-game suspension, he said he fought hard to overturn it. But now, with the decision final, he says all he can do is have himself ready to go for week 5 against the Washington Redskins.