METAIRIE, La. – The New Orleans Saints have reunited their dynamic running duo Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram by acquiring Ingram in a trade with the Houston Texans, sources confirmed to ESPN.
The deal includes a swap of last-round picks, the source said. The NFL Network first reported the trade, the second in two months between the Saints and Texans after New Orleans acquired veteran cornerback Bradley Roby in Week 1.
The Saints desperately needed running back depth after releasing veteran Latavius Murray in September and losing backup Tony Jones Jr. to injury. So they turned to one of the most popular and productive endorsements in franchise history.
Ingram, 31, spent his first eight seasons in New Orleans after being selected in the first round in 2011, adding 6,007 yards rushing, 1,598 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns before the Saints let him go as a free agent in 2019.
Ingram is just 89 rushing yards behind Deuce McAllister for New Orleans’ franchise record.
In their heyday, Ingram and Kamara were one of the best running back duos in NFL history. Nicknamed “Boom and Zoom,” they became the first duo to surpass 1,500 hitting yards in the same season in 2017, and the first in more than 40 years to make the Pro Bowl starting roster.
Murray proved to be an excellent replacement from 2019 to 2020, while Ingram had success with the Baltimore Ravens. But the Saints missed the two veterans this year while relying more than ever on Kamara as a one-man show.
Kamara is on track to break his career record for carries in a season by more than 100, reaching 30 touches in a game for the second time in his career in Monday’s 13-10 win at Seattle. Kamara was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.
“Yes, @markingramII … we will be back” Kamara tweeted in response to informed trade.
Ingram led the Texans this season, rushing for 294 yards and a touchdown on 92 carries for a team that ranks last in the NFL according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
With their trade to New Orleans, the Texans now have four running backs on their roster: veterans David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead and second-year pro Scottie Phillips. Phillips has been inactive in all but one game this season, but only played on special teams.
Earlier in the month, the Texans dumped veteran defensive end Whitney Mercilus, who signed with the Green Bay Packers after the Texans released him. Mercilus, a first-round pick in 2012, was one of the longest-serving Texans players on the roster.
Since Ingram signed in Houston, coach David Culley has spoken about the importance of the running back on the roster due to his leadership role in the locker room.
After the trade was reported Wednesday, wide receiver Brandin Cooks appeared react to movement on Twitter, writing: “This is nonsense —. What a joke.”
ESPN’s Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.