New Orleans Saints 2015 Year in Review: Tim Hightower
Tim Hightower, whose career has been defined by adversity, overcame all the setbacks and had an outstanding finish to his first year back in the NFL since last playing in 2011.
In the absence of Mark Ingram, who was placed on injured reserve for the final four games of the 2015 season with a shoulder injury, running back Tim Hightower made his presence felt immediately, but his story is what makes his latest campaign so incredible.
Thanks to a brutal ACL injury in 2011 with the Washington Redskins, Hightower ventured on an incredible journey to overcome adversity after almost a four-year hiatus from the NFL, which was highlighted by a Fall Experimental Football League stint with the Florida Blacktips in 2014.
After signing with the New Orleans Saints to a reserve/futures contact in January of 2015, Tim Hightower went through a lot of hardship in order to finally secure a permanent spot on the roster.
Surviving final cuts for the 53-man roster before the regular season began, he initially made the team. However, he was cut just before the season opener against his former team (2008-10), the Arizona Cardinals.
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He was re-signed on the Monday following the season opener in Arizona, only to be cut, yes, cut again the very next day. Following the season-ending leg injury to Khiry Robinson on Nov. 1 against the New York Giants, Tim Hightower was finally signed to stay in New Orleans to fill the void at running back. From Weeks 9-13, he’d only get a total of 12 touches, but then came the Mark Ingram injury, and Hightower’s stock skyrocketed.
In the final four games of the season, Hightower was one of the bright spots, totaling 84 carries for 327 yards and four touchdowns while adding another 12 catches and 129 yards through the air to help lead the Saints to 3-1 record to cap off the disappointing year.
Check out this highlight video from Tim Hightower’s Week 16 performance. He finished the day with 122 yards and two touchdowns:
He emerged as a true workhorse at the end of the 2015 season, finishing strong and possibly earning a contract opportunity for next year if New Orleans and the unrestricted free agent can work out a mutual agreement.
The futures of both C.J. Spiller and Khiry Robinson with the Saints are in question, which means the 29-year-old Tim Hightower may wind up the man behind Mark Ingram as a smarter, cheaper option moving forward. He proved himself capable after a stellar finish to the year.