Saints Add Former Lions Running Back to Roster: Report

Zach Zenner

Getty Zach Zenner runs the ball in 2018 against the Vikings.

The New Orleans Saints have a need at running back with Alvin Kamara hobbled, and they have turned to a former Detroit Lions running back in order to fill the void.

On Wednesday, Zach Zenner signed a deal with the Saints according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Zenner had been a fixture in Detroit since making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He impressed fans with his toughness and work ethic, and he will have to bring that same mindset to New Orleans.

Zenner was released in the lead up to the 2019 season, as Ty Johnson made the roster and the team elected to roll with other running backs. That didn’t stop him from producing some decent results in the Motor City. In his three year career with the Lions, Zenner put up solid numbers, rushing for 685 total yards and 8 touchdowns.

Now, Zenner will get a long awaited second shot at the league and making an impression to stick on a roster. That’s not something the runner is likely to take lightly at all, and he is likely to give this opportunity his best shot as much as he had to grind in order to make the Lions in 2015.

Big Impression in Detroit

Fans loved Zenner for his physicality and flair. He always ground out yards and had a knack for stepping up and delivering on the big stage when many thought he couldn’t get the job done because of his small school stature. While at South Dakota State, Zenner was a hit and one of the best players on the team. From there, his relentless work ethic led to him impressing former Lions coach Jim Caldwell.

Perhaps the best thing about Zenner? His motivation off the field. He’s been pursuing a medical degree and has not given up even in spite of an NFL career which he is also determined to chase down and not give up on. Zenner is also a father, so he crams a ton into his schedule.

All these things simply make him one of the players that Lions fans found it easy to root for. Even as the Lions moved on, plenty of folks wanted to see the team make room for Zenner and keep him around the roster for leadership as well as the gritty running he was known for.

Fit in New Orleans

Zenner is an interesting addition for the Saints, and is no doubt someone that former Lions offensive coordinator and current New Orleans quarterback coach Joe Lombardi could vouch for given he worked with him. The Saints need help on the ground, and while Zenner is nothing like Kamara, his physicality and style does pack a punch which could lead him to be very successful in the New Orleans scheme. A wide open passing attack could get Zenner the space to be able to make some big plays.

The Saints will be happy to have a runner and leader like Zenner helping out their ground attack for this season.

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