And now things get interesting.
Before the first game of the season- scratch that- before the first snap of the PRE-season running back Lynell Hamilton is lost for 2010 after tearing his right ACL during a drill with the New England Patriots.
Just to clear up some of the gossip circulating on the internet, the Times Picayune’s James Varney reported that the Patriots did not lay a finger on Hamilton, who fell down in pain after running to the right side.
Just about 48 hours after Hamilton stood inside the White House in the presence of President Barack Obama, the young, powerful running back the Saints had enough faith in to let Mike Bell fly to Philadelphia as a restricted free-agent “ain’t dere no mo”.
The Saints’ “back up” is second-year re-signed free-agent P.J. Hill, who has had a decent training camp. And until/unless the Saints ink a veteran, Tiffin University product Chris Ivory, who signed with the team as a rookie free agent, now moves up from a likely spot on the practice squad to the temporary fourth running back slot.
The Saints had worked out Justin Fargas, a seven veteran that was released by the Oakland Raiders for allegedly failing his physical (think Al Davis saving a $1,700,000.00 bonus), though the son of the actor that played Huggy Bear from the 1970s television show Starsky and Hutch is no longer an option as he signed with the Denver Broncos on Wedenday, according to the Denver Post.
The Post reported that the Oakland franchise’s owner’s staff might have been incorrect in their assessment of Fargas, as he passed Denver’s physical. Yes, I am being sarcastic. What’s no joke are the running back problems the Broncos have been experiencing with both Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter nursing injuries.
Another running back the Saints had expressed an interest in was Ladell Betts, who Saints fans might remember with some consternation for the 119 yards he accumulated against the Black and Gold in their game against the Washington Redskins in 2006.
Betts played sparingly against the Saints in the 2008 game at FedEx Field and suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Dallas Cowboys two weeks before the Saints salvaged their seemingly lost unbeaten streak in Andover.
With Hamilton out, the Saints’ interest in Betts has risen to a new high while starting running back Pierre Thomas’s bargaining position for a better contract has improved.