METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - While Mark Ingram's noticeably absent from the field and our cameras, it doesn't necessarily feel that way to the team.
"I've spoken with Mark a few times over the last couple of weeks," says Drew Brees.
"I talked to him yesterday," adds Alvin Kamara.
The list goes on. And the common denominator between everyone that's talked to Ingram is they're all confident that he'll be ready when his time comes after his suspension.
"As far as right now goes, I know Mark's doing what he needs to do to get himself ready to play this season," says Brees. "He's doing what's best for him, and therefore, what's best for the team."
But until he's back for good, adjustments have to be made. Alvin Kamara could probably carry more of the load, but it might be doing him a disservice to ask him to take on such a toll. Enter names like Jonathan Williams, Trey Edmunds, and rookie Boston Scott. They're all hungry to make the most out of the Saints situation at running back.
"The biggest thing for me is just understanding the playbook and the plays, not just what I'm doing as a running back, but what everyone's doing around me," says Scott, a rookie and Baton Rouge native. "And that helps me play faster."
"I feel like I can catch the ball out of the backfield," says Jonathan Williams. "Running between the tackles is something I've always done and something that comes natural to me. So I'm excited about this season."
"We've got a next man up mentality," says Kamara. "When one goes down, the next person picks up the slack. I wouldn't say that anybody has to be superhuman. We just all have to keep working until he gets back."
But while the subject of Ingram's absence will remain a hot topic, coach Payton says his focus remains on the running backs that are here currently. After all, it is a very young group that could be asked to do quite a bit.