Mark Ingram not taking 12th NFL season for granted

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The short career span for NFL running backs has been discussed for many years and that makes it notable whenever a player can defy the ticking clock into a second decade of NFL action.

Saints running back Mark Ingram is on that list. He’s moving into his 12th season after returning to his original team during the 2021 season and the 32-year-old said he has “the desire to do it, and physically I have the ability to do” a job that is usually done by those who haven’t hit their 30th birthday.

Ingram said he’s aware of his status as an outlier and doesn’t “take it for granted” that he continues to have a role in the NFL. He also said that he now realizes things that frustrated him earlier in his career wound up allowing him to make it this far.

“Early in my career when I had to share the ball a lot, it would kind of frustrate me. . . . Now, looking back on it, I didn’t have that much wear and tear on me throughout the early years of my career, and that’s why I feel good going into my 12th year,” Ingram said, via Luke Johnson of “I’m here, and I’m just thankful. I’m trying to continue to improve, continue to get better.”

As long as Alvin Kamara is healthy, Ingram’s role will remain a limited one in New Orleans but even a limited role is an unusual one for a back of Ingram’s age and a good showing in it could mean Ingram gets to stick around for a 13th year.

Mark Ingram not taking 12th NFL season for granted originally appeared on Pro Football Talk