Mark Ingram has found a new home.
The veteran running back is signing a one-year deal with the Houston Texans worth up to $3 million, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo reported.
The former Saints star spent the last two years in Baltimore, where he arrived as the lead back in a dominant Ravens rushing attack in 2019, but faded into the background in 2020 as rookie J.K. Dobbins and youngster Gus Edwards received the carries instead of Ingram. After rushing 202 times for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019, Ingram saw just 72 attempts for 299 yards and four touchdowns in 2020.
The exact point at which Ingram went from key contributor to veteran afterthought could be placed in the 2019 postseason, when a calf injury significantly limited Ingram, hampering Baltimore’s rushing attack and leading to a stunning upset loss to Tennessee in the Divisional Round. By the time Baltimore exacted revenge on Tennessee a year later, Ingram was a nonfactor, spending the game as an inactive player. He was waived eight days later.
Ingram’s tale could be one of two: A wrecking ball of a running back who simply ran out of gas rather drastically once he reached 30 years old, or a veteran who suffered an untimely injury and lost his job to younger options. We’ll find out which is the case — and whether there’s really much of a difference between the two — in Houston, where Ingram will join David Johnson in a tandem that would have made headlines across the league half of a decade ago.
Instead, they’re both in Houston to reclaim what was once football glory. It worked out to a minor degree for Johnson in 2020 when he posted his highest yards-per-carry average of his career, albeit on just 147 attempts. With Duke Johnson now gone, it will be interesting to see how Ingram fits into Houston’s offense — and whether he has any gas left in the tank.