I don't want to believe this. Not only because Mark Ingram has been the lone consistent player on an overrated offense, but because ragging on Sean Payton has been literally the only thing I have been able to take constant pleasure in this season. Learning that Mark Ingram has been severely beaten up for the last few games gives his Head Coach a valid reason for limiting his carries, and I hate when he has a legitimate excuse. I just want to be able to curse out Sean Payton's decision making under my breathe without silly things like injuries standing in my way. Is that too much to ask for in a season that has given Saints fans nothing other than an increased likelihood of clinical depression?
A lot, and I mean A LOT, of people questioned whether or not signing Mark Ingram to 4 year extension was the right move. Given the fact that he was a first round draft pick, that went to a team whose offensive philosophy doesn't require a bell cow running back, he was put in a bad position from the start. That doesn't mean that he started off his career making the most of his touches. Far from it, in fact. For a player whose success was predicated on a heavy workload in college, trying to turn a couple carries here and there into a successful afternoon was basically fruitless. Well, I think that what we learned this year is that Mark Ingram is the least of the Saints worries. He is actually one of the very few players whose effort, and results for that matter, has been unquestionable throughout this entire dumpster fire of a season. Even with limited touches over the past few weeks, that I am being forced to believe were a result of a shoulder issue, Ingram made a difference on the ground and through the air that no other player in the Saints backfield has come even relatively close to replicating.
I don't want to put it all on the Saints front office for trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, because I do believe that Ingram struggled mightily to adjust to the NFL. However, he has proved this year that it's amazing how much the perception of a player can change when they are favorable suited for the role they are given. Mark Ingram is finally in a position for which he can succeed, and succeed is exactly what he has done. It's unfortunate how potentially unwatchable these next four games could be without him, but I am glad he has been able to throw the criticism, among other things, back in our faces.
P.S. Fuck you C.J. Spiller.