Thursday, Saints running back Mark Ingram barreled head on into the dicey discussion of whether he’s seeking a trade.
After less-than-ideal results for Ingram in this young season, rumors swirled he wanted out of New Orleans, especially after he missed this past Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with a toe injury. There was no sign of Ingram on the sidelines, cheering on his teammates, or anywhere inside the Superdome, for that matter.
Now, Ingram is debunking the rumor, pondering about where it came from and professing his affection for the Crescent City.
“It never came from me. I don’t know who it came from,” Ingram said outside of his locker after practice, which he did not participate in because of the ailing toe. “I love New Orleans. Its home to me. I love this organization, love my teammates, love my coaches. I’m happy here.”
Ingram put himself through personal two-a-day practices with a trainer down in Florida for the month leading up to Saints training camp this summer. He set a goal for himself to average around 5-yards-per-carry this season, similar to his collegiate performance, instead of the 3.9 yards-per-carry he averaged in 2012. Through the two games Ingram has played in this season, he’s averaging 1.8 yards-per-carry.
Head coach Sean Payton’s ground attack game plan features three running backs that share touches: Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Ingram. The Heisman winner from the University of Alabama insists winning is all that matters.
“We’re 3-0, so I’m excited about that,” Ingram said. “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, that doesn’t bother me. I come out every day, I work my butt off to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be for this team, to help us go out there and have success. I do that every single day, and as long as my teammates, my coaches and everybody in the organization knows that, that’s all that matters to me.”