Payton and Saints treating Ingram suspension like an injury

Kristian Garic
May 12, 2018 - 3:14 pm

​Following the four game suspension of Saints RB Mark Ingram this week, the Saints are taking the same approach as they took last year when WR Willie Snead was suspended for the first three games for a DWI arrest.

"We get the same notice when he and his agent get the notice.  I know Mark well enough to know it wasn't a performance enhancing drug he'll better be able to explain. You adjust like it would be an injury,"  Coach Sean Payton said this weekend at the teams rookie mini camp. 

Ingram has decided to skip the voluntary off-season conditioning and OTA's but will be at the Saints three day mini camp next month.  Payton wasn't caught off guard with Ingram's decision to sit out.

"We spoke before the off-season program started and it is what it is. He'll know what to do. Do I think he should be here? Yeah, but it's optional and we'll see him at the mini camp," Payton explained. 

The Saints don't appear to be in the market for a running back off the street to bring in.

"I'm anxious to evaluate guys we have here right now," said Payton. 

The Saints know what they have in Alvin Kamara obviously, but they want to find out who can spell Mark Ingram for four games. Jonathan Williams was added to the active roster last season.  Boston Scott was picked in the sixth round, and Payton says he's not just a specialist. Trey Edmunds made the roster last season as an un-drafted free agent, and played primarily on special teams. Daniel Lasco has battled concussions in his two seasons in the league.  If the Saints decide to bring a veteran running back, don't rule out Adrian Peterson returning to the Saints according to Payton.

"I think a ton of him. If all of a sudden we're going to look at guys on the street. We have available running backs stacked on a board graded. He's a tough player, warrior, and a great worker. We had a good relationship." 

Now let's get to some things I saw at rookie mini camp.  First off Sean Payton hasn't allowed the media to watch rookie mini camp since 2006, so it was a surprise today to learn the media was actually going to get to see the rookies working.  TE Deon Yelder had a few nice grabs from QB J.T Barret.  WR Tre'Qaun Smith also had a few nice catches during the passing portion of practice.  Rookie first round draft pick DE Marcus Davenport flashed his explosiveness and edge rushing ability.  In mini camps like these the players aren't wearing pads, and the skill position players are going to stand out.  However, you can see exactly why the Saints drafted Davenport. He's extremely quick off the ball with a very explosive first step.  

Un-drafted rookie QB J.T Barret looked comfortable under center in passing plays.  He went through his progressions and found the open guy without any trouble or uncertainty.  He acknowledged after practice that he's just trying to take it day by day and that his head is swimming a little bit, but you couldn't tell by the way he was playing. 

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