NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -
Mark Ingram will be the first to tell you that being away from the team is something he never wants to experience again. The only thing that helped was seeing the Saints’ success.
“When we were winning games, it made it better,” says Ingram. “I was excited to see us win and playing well. Just being able to get back with these guys and be with the team, of course, was something I was looking forward to everyday.”
Now that Ingram's back, it's expected that he and Alvin Kamara pick up where they left off last year. That could be a lot of pressure for someone who’s going to have at least a little bit of a readjustment period, but Ingram doesn't see it that way.
“We've been playing well,” says Ingram. “So I'm just trying to make us stronger and more explosive.”
But Ingram's effect on this team goes far beyond what he does on the field. He's a very emotional player and a staple of the Saints over the last seven seasons. His return has everyone fired up.
“He just brings back the life,” says second-year corner Marshon Lattimore. “The first game, you could tell he wasn't there. These past couple of games, you can tell he's not there just with the locker room vibes. Just him being here is big for us and just boosts everybody's confidence just to have him back.”
“I’m excited for my guy to be back,” says defensive end Cam Jordan. “You talk about the way he approaches the game. The way he approached practice today, I thought it was game day. Along with him, and everything he's accomplished, he's got a big chip on his shoulder, and I'm ready to ride this upcoming Monday.”
The Saints couldn't have picked a better week to get Ingram back, not only for a huge Monday night game, but against a Washington team that he ran circles around a year ago.
“I’ve had a lot of stuff pent up and built up,” says Ingram. “I’m ready to go. I’m hungry and ready to play ball.”