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Will Mark Ingram Catch On With One Of The Four Remaining Playoff Teams?

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Veteran running back Mark Ingram was given his walking papers by the Baltimore Ravens almost immediately after they walked off the field losing in the divisional playoff round to the Buffalo Bills 17-3.

The 31-year-old was phased out of the Ravens offense as the season went along, and in the end played in just 11 games, rushing for 299 yards and two scores.

This after a 2019 season in which he rushed for 1018 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 games.

Ingram said all the right things on the way out, but you know that deep down he’s anxious to show that he’s got gas left in the tank even at 31, which is flat out old for a NFL running back.

The former New Orleans Saints running back cleared waivers, meaning that he’s free to sign with any team for any price, which includes the four teams remaining in the NFL’s postseason.

The Ravens dumping of a number of players is already paying off for the Green Bay Packers, who picked up released cornerback Tramon Williams, who Baltimore released and then also passed through waivers unclaimed.

With only four teams left there’s not a lot to choose from if Ingram wants to play again this season, but here are the options he’s got left and if any of these teams truly make sense for him as the AFC and NFC title games close in.

1. Kansas City

The Chiefs rushed for 124 yards in Sunday’s 22-17 home divisional playoff win over the Cleveland Browns, putting up an impressive 5.1 yards per carry.

Maybe what is more impressive is they did it minus leading rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who missed the game with hip and ankle injuries.

Edwards-Helaire remains listed as questionable to play Sunday against Buffalo, and if he can’t go look for Darrell Williams to get a solid amount of carries again and Le’Veon Bell to be the backup.

Ingram in the mix could add another weapon for Kansas City, who always seem to find ways to use their players in the best possible situations, and if there’s any of the four teams that make sense for Ingram, it’s the defending Super Bowl champs.

2. Tampa Bay

Leonard Fournette led the Bucs Sunday with 63 yards on 17 carries, and overall the team rushed for 127 yards in the 30-20 win over the Saints in New Orleans.

Ronald Jones II did play in the game despite still recovering from nagging injuries, but his status for Sunday could be in doubt as he’s questionable and was limited in Wednesday’s practice.

Playing in the frozen tundra is always tough this time of the year, and trying to loosen up and get prepared to play won’t be easy, something else working against Jones having a big impact.

The Bucs might be wise to take a flier on Ingram just to add some depth to their running back spot against the Pack Sunday.

3. Buffalo

Again the only reason the Bills would bring in Ingram is for depth purposes, as the team could use a solid vet for Zack Moss, who was placed on IR after suffering an injury in the playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The team inked running back Devonta Freeman and placed him on the practice squad just to have another vet on the roster, so even if the Bills wanted to ink Ingram, it would make more sense for them to just advance Freeman to the active roster.

The Bills did struggle in the run game against Ingram’s old team in the Ravens last week, going for just 32 yards on 16 carries.

It just doesn’t seem like much of a fit, as Devin Singletary is slated to get a majority of the carries and T.J. Yeldon will get any leftovers.

Don’t expect Ingram to even get a feeler from the AFC East champs.

4. Green Bay

Aaron Jones is probably the best running back left in the postseason, meaning that the Pack as they look ahead to the Bucs for Sunday really don’t need a vet just to come in and take up a locker.

Jamaal Williams is the backup to Jones, and while he’s listed as questionable for Sunday, all indications are he will play.

The Pack ran all over the Rams Saturday evening for 188 yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Jones led the way for the Packers with 99 yards on 14 carries and a score.

Green Bay lines up in pretty good shape at the running back spot, so don’t look for a match between them and Ingram.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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