It’s a big blow for the New Orleans Saints offense to lose running back Darren Sproles especially to the team’s already struggling rushing game. But this should give running backs Chris Ivory and Travaris Cadet equal opportunities to carry the rock in his absence.
Fans have taken to the social media networks for close to a month now with hash-tags like, “#FreeChrisIvory” and “#TeamActivateChrisIvory.” Now fate has stepped in and forced the Saints hand into doing just those.
Ivory, once a trusted and frequently used back, was delegated to sideline status this season after having a meager showing during preseason. After bowling defenders over the last two years and finding holes in the defensive line, Ivory barely could get going.
Also reports of ball security issues began to surface during training camp as Ivory would have at least one fumble or have the ball stripped from him during practice. Another issue that was evident during preseason was missing several assignments in pass protection.
He was only activated twice in the past seven games and saw zero snaps where he carried the ball. That will change as he will know figure into the rotation to help supplement the loss of Sproles.
Likewise, Cadet could now see some premier time on the field besides special teams. Cadet took the route similar to Ivory as he was a undrafted free agent the Saints found and showed some playmaking material.
Cadet, who is 6’1 and 210 pounds, won’t exactly be able to replace Sproles in the lineup but will likely bring the same zippy running style that he has displayed during preseason.
For both players this will be the time to showcase their abilities to the club and possibly climb the depth chart. For Ivory, he can show the Saints what they’ve been missing out on and Cadet can help cement his status on the roster for next season.