Mark Ingram II honored to make Saints history

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram leaves the field after a loss to the Tennessee...
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram leaves the field after a loss to the Tennessee Titans in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)(Mark Zaleski | AP)
Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 7:18 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Mark Ingram’s roundabout way of reaching the top of the Saints’ all-time leading rusher list makes the story that much better. When he left following the 2018 season, less than 100 yards shy of the record, it felt like he was leaving something on the table, like an incomplete story with the black and gold.

When he returned, during his first session with the media, Ingram said everyone, including himself, knew he’d be back in New Orleans one day. And sure enough, upon his return, it became clear it was just a matter of time before he reached the all-time record.

“I’m thankful for all of my teammates, coaches and anyone along the way, my wife, my kids, my parents,” says Ingram. “Anyone who’s loved me or poured into me over these years of my life, I’m thankful for them. I’m appreciative of them. I couldn’t have done it without anyone I just mentioned.”

And just as important is the role that Deuce McAllister, the previous record-holder, played in helping Ingram reach this milestone. While recent history shows Ingram has a steady, reliable and highly productive back, it wasn’t an easy first few seasons as the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner.

“When things weren’t necessarily ideal, whether it was my role in the offense or injuries, whatever it may have been, he was always encouraging and supportive, and I appreciate him for that,” says Ingram. “I’m honored to be able to take over Deuce’s record because he’s a great player. I watched him growing up.”

And in the process of passing Deuce, Ingram sits atop a list of plenty of other Saints greats.

“To be able to say that in a storied and prestigious organization that’s had a lot of great runners come through and will continue to have them come through, is something to be proud of,” says Ingram. “I’m thankful.”

One of Ingram’s best and most underrated assets is his long-term health. You’re hard-pressed to find players that have an NFL career that’s this productive into their 11th season, let alone at running back. He continues to prove that age is just a number if you put in the work.

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