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New Orleans Saints: Injuries, Chris Ivory, and Mark Ingram

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As an undrafted rookie he averaged over five yards per carry last season — leading all rookie running backs — and as anyone can tell you who has watched him he could turn out to be an elite player if he can remain healthy.

When he returns head coach Sean Payton will have to figure out how to split the carries up among such a talented group of running backs even further —  which begs the questions as to what to do with leading rusher Mark Ingram.

So far Ingram hasn’t turned heads this season rushing for 216 yards and two touchdowns through five games.

The overall productions aside he is averaging only 3.5 yards per carry and has been relatively ineffective as a goal line back, converting just one of his 10 carries inside opponent’s 10-yard line into a score (Stats.com).

Ingram is sharing the carries, but he is getting more than any other Saint running back, averaging 12.4 a game, which is comparable to Ivory’s average last season when he rushed 11.4 times per game.

Given that Ivory has already proven he can be productive in the Saints “shared” backfield the team would be wise to place the bulk of the rushing duties on his shoulders to give Ingram a little more time to mature, improve, and see the field better.

Realistically the Saints are likely happy with Ingram’s development and where is is at in his young, developing career — his future is bright — Ivory however deserves his fair share of carries after his performance last season.