Tim Hightower reportedly re-signing with Saints


One of the best stories of the 2015 NFL season will carry over to 2016.


Draft coverage:

Veteran running back Tim Hightower is re-signing with the New Orleans Saints, reports Katherine Terrell of The Times-Picayune.

Out of the league since 2011, Hightower not only earned a spot on the Saints roster last season, but also thrived as Mark Ingram's injury replacement in December. He averaged 114 yards from scrimmage in the final four games, lifting underdog fantasy football squads to the championship.

Hightower was on pace for a breakout season when he originally tore his ACL in October of 2011. Although the injury is no longer the career threat it was in the previous century, infections in Hightower's knee necessitated several follow-up surgeries over the next couple of years.

"When I went down, I wrote down on a sheet of paper that this wouldn't be the end for me," Hightower explained last February, after signing a futures contract with New Orleans. "... It was a long process. But I don't think I ever stopped training. I don't think I ever stopped working toward this goal. As I trained, as I did rehab, as I went to the different surgeries, I just tried to keep that end picture in mind."

Hightower's stirring comeback bid appeared to hit the skids when he made the Saints roster out of training camp only to be released just prior to the season opener. He was re-signed and released again before finally sticking when Khiry Robinson went down with a broken tibia in early November.

"I'm so glad I didn't give up," Hightower tweeted shortly thereafter. "I can't imagine what life would be like if I had to wonder what if..."

Turning 30 years old next month, Hightower is likely to enter training camp third on the Saints depth chart behind Ingram and bounce-back candidate C.J. Spiller. If injuries strike again, his fresh legs will be ready to carry the load.