After both New Orleans Saints’ RBs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram spent the week on the team’s injury report, is either playing on Thanksgiving in Week 12? Let’s take a look at the latest status of both Kamara and Ingram for Week 12. Who might the Saints turn to in their absence?
Update 11/25/2021: Mark Ingram is officially inactive for the Saints’ Week 12 Thanksgiving game with the Bills
Is Alvin Kamara or Mark Ingram playing in Week 12 against the Bills?
It has been a rough week in New Orleans — just look at the Saints’ injury report for Week 12. Not only was Kamara absent from practice once again this week, but fellow RB Ingram was added to the report this week with a knee injury. Ingram was at least able to participate in a limited fashion on Wednesday and Friday.
The upshot of all of this is mixed for the Saints. Kamara is out for a third consecutive game and is now a question mark for the Saints’ Week 13 game against the Cowboys next Thursday. Meanwhile, Ingram has been listed as questionable, but observations from the open portion of practice were not overly enthusiastic from Saints beat reporters.
Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reported that Ingram went through the stretching portion before leaving the practice field. There is every chance that the Saints are just being cautious with Ingram. Nonetheless, the fact he did little more than stretching would suggest he could be limited on Thursday.
With Kamara out, the expectation is that Ingram will be active if at all possible. The Saints have a severe lack of experience on their roster behind Kamara and Ingram. As they fight to keep their playoff hopes alive heading into the final few weeks of the season, it is paramount to have one of their top two backs available this week.
Ingram has been leading the rushing attack without Kamara
With Kamara absent through injury in the past two weeks, Ingram has carried the load for the Saints. He carried the ball 14 times in Week 10 and 16 times in Week 11. Additionally, Ingram garnered 15 targets, notching 10 receptions and 86 receiving yards.
In total, Ingram has had 45 opportunities for 221 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in Kamara’s absence. Across those two games, Ingram has played 104 offensive snaps after playing just 48 in his first two games back with the Saints this season. Ingram had 78% of the team carries in Week 10 and 80% in Week 11.
Tony Jones Jr. could start if Ingram is absent or limited
Behind Kamara and Ingram, the Saints’ depth chart at the RB is thin. Tony Jones Jr. was activated from the injured reserve in Week 11 and was second on the team in carries last week with 3. Jones actually drew the start in Week 2 as he came off a game in which he carried the ball 11 times for 50 yards in Week 1. However, since Week 1, Jones has had just 11 rush attempts and 5 targets in four games.
The other player listed at RB on the depth chart is Dwayne Washington. However, Washington had played on just 15 offensive snaps this season (4 rush attempts, 1 target). Even in Kamara’s absence, he has played just 8 offensive snaps.
A name to also watch is Ty Montgomery. Listed on the depth chart as a receiver, Montgomery had a rush attempt and a target early in the first quarter of the Saints’ Week 10 game before leaving with an injury. He has been used as a running back at times during his career. Montgomery could see significant snaps at the position having returned from his hand injury this week.
We could get an indication of Ingram’s status prior to inactives being released on Thursday. With Kamara already out, the Saints could promote either Malcolm Perry or Josh Adams from their practice squad before 4 PM ET. If they do, that would indicate Ingram will be either inactive or limited this week.