August 11, 2010

RB Hamilton suffers first major injury of Saints' preseason

Saints RB Lynell Hamilton, expected to contribute to a runningback rotation this season, is expected to miss the entire season with a torn ACL.  ESPN reported that Hamilton suffered the injury Wednesday morning during joint practices with the Patriots in Foxboro, MA.

UPDATE: The diagnosis has been confirmed by the team as a right ACL tear.

Should Hamilton be lost for the season, the Saints are left in an awkward spot, with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush as the starters by rotation.  But last year, RB Mike Bell had 25 more carries than Thomas and 102 more carries than Bush.

Hamilton, a rising undrafted free agent himself after an injury-shortened collegiate career, was the fourth-leading rusher on the team and expected to ascend to Bell's role.  Hamilton's first NFL carry, in Buffalo last year, was for a touchdown.  A freshman All-American at San Diego State, Hamilton's injury-riddled college career included a fracture leg and an undrafted entry to the league in 2009.

Just yesterday, RB Justin Fargas signed with Denver after the Broncos had a string of runningback injuries.  Fargas had worked out with the Saints this offseason.

Options to fill the #3 role on the roster include rookie undrafted free agent Chris Ivory and second year undrafted free agent PJ Hill.  Neither has appeared in an NFL game.

Ivory, a Texas native, transfer from Washington State to Tiffin University in Alabama, has looked promising so far in camp.

Hill, a lauded runner at Wisconsin from 2006-2008, had 3942 rushing yards, 44 touchdowns and a 5.1 yard/carry average as a Badger.

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