Coach Sean Payton said he strived to increase Spiller's involvement within the offense. Technically, Payton did just that. Spiller played 21 offensive snaps in the win over Dallas in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which translated into 29 percent of the offensive snaps.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Brandon Coleman continues to watch his participation decrease finding only 19 snaps (26 percent) in Sunday night's win. Willie Snead received the second most offensive snaps at wide receiver at 48.
A couple of notes here as Spiller's works seems to be on the upswing, which is no surprise considering he is working back from an injury. The Coleman vs. Snead snaps are interesting because the broadcast crew said the Saints like Snead enough that he's got a chance to be the second option after Brandin Cooks.
New Orleans Saints running back C.J. Spiller caught a pass for 3 yards on the first play from scrimmage Sunday, and he did not touch the ball again until the fourth quarter. The scarcity of touches for Spiller was something coach Sean Payton said Monday he wanted to fix.
"I got to get him more opportunities," Payton said. "He's healthy, and shoot, he needs more than anybody to stay actively warm as opposed to one play every 12 of 14 plays."
Spiller played 16 snaps against the Panthers, one week after he went in for seven snaps at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Spiller missed the preseason and the season opener at Arizona to recover from an arthroscopic knee surgery.
Fantasy owners need to see more from Spiller, too. Spiller was supposed to be a PPR stud however so far it's been a slow start which has caused Spiller to pop up on the waiver wire. It seems the team is aware the need to give him the ball more but we'll see if that translates into more touches. If you're hurting at the position and Spiller is out there on the wire in a PPR league, he may be worth a shot.
Monday, September 21, 2015, 10:00am
So it shouldn't be some stunner that Spiller only played seven snaps in his Saints debut coming off knee surgery early in training camp. Spiller caught one pass for 19 yards and carried the ball three times for seven yards.
Friday, September 18, 2015, 6:37pm
Saints RB C.J. Spiller (knee, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 2. Spiller is on track to return in a nice matchup against the Buccaneers, despite what Sean Payton says. The Saints play early on Sunday and the matchup is fantastic.
Thursday, September 17, 2015, 6:09pm
Saints RB C.J. Spiller (knee) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Spiller is on track to return in a nice matchup against the Buccaneers, though Sean Payton is being coy with Spiller’s status. The Saints play early on Sunday and the matchup is fantastic.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 6:08pm
Saints RB C.J. Spiller (knee) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Spiller is now on track to return in a nice matchup against the Buccaneers.
Doubters remain, of course, because the NFL is a game-to-game, quarter-to-quarter, play-to-play audition. It only takes one false note for the chorus to gain members and volume.
But New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram muted a good portion of them with the way he ran last season, when he totaled 964 yards and nine touchdowns on 226 carries and became the first New Orleans running back to play in the Pro Bowl since Deuce McAllister in 2003.
And in Sunday’s season-opening 31-19 loss to the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., he at least gave pause to a few more that might’ve believed he was being a tad ambitious when he said he had the ability to be an every-down back, that he equally could be a factor as a receiver.
A career-high eight catches for a career-high 98 yards against Arizona suggests he may have a point.
Granted, every week won’t so prosperous. When C.J. Spiller returns from injury, and with continued steady play from Khiry Robinson (who also had career highs with five catches for 51 yards against the Cardinals), Ingram’s touches in the passing game could reduce.
Ingram stated even last season he had the ability to catch passes but sat behind Pierre Thomas and Travaris Cadet in that role. After the team signed C.J. Spiller, it looked like Ingram would again not get his chance. But Spiller couldn't go Week 1 and Ingram got the job done. With Spiller struggling to stay healthy in his career, it's a nice bonus for Ingram owners to know pass catching is officially on his resume.
Friday, September 11, 2015, 6:21pm
Saints RB Tim Hightower (knee, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 1. Hightower can help in the passing game with C.J. Spiller sidelined, but we’re expecting most of Spiller’s catches to go to Mark Ingram and a few of Ingram’s carries to go to Khiry Robinson.
Friday, September 11, 2015, 6:21pm
Saints RB C.J. Spiller (knee, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 1. Per Ian Rapoport, Spiller should be back Week 2. If Spiller is indeed out, look for Mark Ingram to take a larger role in the passing game with Khiry Robinson picking up some of Ingram’s carries. The matchup against Arizona isn’t good.
Thursday, September 10, 2015, 6:19pm
Saints RB C.J. Spiller (knee) missed practice again Thursday. Per Ian Rapoport, Spiller is out for Week 1, but should be back Week 2. If Spiller is indeed out, look for Mark Ingram to take a larger role in the passing game with Khiry Robinson picking up some of Ingram’s carries. The matchup against Arizona isn’t good.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 7:15pm
Saints RB C.J. Spiller (knee) did not practice Wednesday. Per Ian Rapoport, Spiller is out for Week 1, but should be back Week 2. If Spiller is indeed out, look for Mark Ingram to take a larger role in the passing game with Khiry Robinson picking up some of Ingram’s carries. The matchup against Arizona isn’t good.
Saturday, September 5, 2015, 8:26pm
The veteran ended a lengthy NFL drought by making the 53-man roster Saturday. Hightower last played in a game in 2011.
Saints beat writer Andrew Lopez :
How much Mark Ingram's role expands will depend on the health of C.J. Spiller, who is dealing with a knee injury but expected to be ready for Week 1 at Arizona, and how much the Saints utilize Khiry Robinson and rookie seventh-rounder Marcus Murphy.
It's not clear if Lopez has updated information or if he's going off the earlier report that Spiller was expected back Week 1. There was another "sourced" report from ESPN radio in New Orleans which said that Spiller would miss the first two games, but it never got any traction. We won't have a good idea of Spiller's potential availability until the team starts practicing next week for its game against the Cardinals. Typically, a knee scope takes 3-4 weeks of recovery so the original timetable makes the most sense.
Spiller’s knee scope doesn’t really damper our optimism about Spiller having a big fantasy impact in 2015. A scope to remove loose/rough cartilage is usually a three-week injury, so Spiller should be good to go for Week 1. While New Orleans may not be an ideal landing spot in the carries department, Spiller should have a major role in the passing game with Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills no longer on the roster. He’ll likely take over the role of Thomas, who averaged 11.6 touches in the last two seasons. Thomas finished with a top 30 PPG (PPR) in six of the last seven seasons, so that's a reasonable floor for Spiller. Darren Sproles twice finishee in the top 15 in a similar role. New Orleans running backs caught 275 passes in the last two seasons, so there are plenty of catches to go around. In short, he has significant PPR upside in this offense, but his workload will be somewhat limited since he'll be part of a committee. For more on Spiller, Senior Editor John Paulsen lays out his case for the Saints' passing-down back.
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