With Lynell Hamilton suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Wednesday’s workout with the Patriots, the New Orleans Saints are going to have to make some major decisions about their stable of running backs.
They had planned to use Hamilton in the spot in the rotation that Mike Bell held last year. In other words, Hamilton (6-foot and 235 pounds) was going to be the big back or the short-yardage guy. Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush would alternate as the top two running backs with Bush being the speed guy and Thomas the all-around back.
Bush and Thomas remain in place and I doubt the plan for them will change much. But the Saints now need a third man in that rotation and I’m not sure they’ve got the right candidate on their current roster. All indications are they like P.J. Hill and rookie Chris Ivory. But neither is as big as Hamilton. Ivory is a little closer than Hill, but they’re both within a few pounds of 220.
The Saints had veteran Ladell Betts in for a workout last week and he’s slightly heavier than Hill and Ivory. Plus, he’s got experience. I don’t know if the workout erased any concerns about Betts’ health. If it did, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints sign him quickly. If it didn’t, I’d look for them to go out and add another running back very soon.
There’s not much out there right now. This might be a situation where the Saints monitor running backs on other teams throughout the preseason and hope they can add a big back that gets released by someone else.