Search for backup running back continues for Saints

If P.J. Hill or Chris Ivory was looking for a vote of confidence from New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton in their efforts to secure the backup running back job, they’d best get to work.

Hill and Ivory are the only options on the roster right now after Lynell Hamilton was lost for the season last week with a torn ACL. The Saints have said they will look to see what is out there in the way of a potential backup for Pierre Thomas.

In comments made Sunday, Payton doesn’t sound real comfortable with the two options he knows right now.

“Right now, to be fair to those two players, they have a lot of work ahead of them,” Payton said. “Both of them have shown some real positive signs, which is encouraging. Fortunately, they’re going to have three more games to get a lot of reps and we’ll see how they progress. But I do like what I’m seeing from them. That being said, there’s still a number of things that they’re working on to get fully up to speed. We’ll see, but I’d anticipate that we’ll be able to get someone in here before the Texans game.”

That means the Saints are fixing to sign a back this week. The pickings are pretty slim right now but more options should become available in early September after cuts are made. Even if the Saints sign a veteran now, it doesn’t mean that back will be the one to make the final roster. Teams are going to cut some veteran backs, especially veterans with health issues who they don’t want to be on the hook for an entire season’s salary.

“We’re currently looking. It’s not something that we’ve decided that we’re going to wait on but the question is can we find the right player and do we have to wait if we can’t,” Payton said. “We’re looking right now so I wouldn’t say we’re staying pat, we just haven’t signed anyone in the last two days. Hopefully we’re able to get someone in here that we have a high enough grade on.”

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