Mark Ingram can’t catch a break.
He’s coming off the best season of his six-year NFL career, a campaign in which he started an injury-free, career-high 14 games, eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time and displayed his improved all-around skills as a receiver and blocker, and how does his employer reward him?
If Ingram were a little miffed by the situation it would be justifiable. You could understand if he felt like pinning the Shruggy Guy emoji to the top of his Twitter timeline.
Ingram finally scores the lead role in a feature film, nails the part and then learns he’s sharing the bill on his next project with the NFL version of George Clooney.
“It is what it is,” a nonplussed Ingram said this week. “… I don’t really feel one way or another about it. I just play the hand that’s dealt to me. I just work my butt off and that’s about it.”
Ingram, of course, is toeing the company line. He can’t say what he really thinks about the situation, and no one should expect him to. A season of high expectations awaits. Above all else, Ingram wants to win. And if Peterson can help the Saints return to the playoffs, then personal sacrifices must be made.
Ingram also knows that competition is a way of life in the NFL. Every day is a job interview, as former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams liked to say.
Ingram has never had the Saints backfield to himself. He’s shared carries with Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, Khiry Robinson, C.J. Spiller and Tim Hightower throughout his tenure.
“The makeup of this backfield has…
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