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Saints to re-sign RB Tim Hightower

NEW ORLEANS -- One of the NFL's great comeback stories from last season will continue in New Orleans as running back Tim Hightower will be re-signed by the Saints, a league source confirmed to ESPN on Friday.

Hightower, 29, was out of the NFL for more than three years before his strong finish with the Saints last December. He ran for 327 yards and four touchdowns in the final four weeks as an injury replacement for Mark Ingram. He also had 129 receiving yards in those four games as an every-down back for the Saints.

Hightower's re-signing seemed inevitable after the Saints elected not to retain running back Khiry Robinson, a restricted free agent who signed with the New York Jets.

Ingram will likely resume his role as the Saints' featured back, though Hightower has proved himself as a dependable backup who may earn a regular spot in the RB rotation. The Saints now have a lot of depth in their backfield with Ingram, Hightower, C.J. Spiller, Travaris Cadet, Marcus Murphy and Vick Ballard.

Hightower began his career with the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins before suffering a torn ACL in 2011. He tried to come back in 2012, but it wasn't until the fall of 2013 that doctors discovered an infection was stunting his recovery.

His career hit another hurdle when he was cut by the Saints in Week 1 last season because of their overcrowded backfield. He was re-signed later in the year, however, because of injuries to Ingram and Robinson.

Hightower has a total of 2,429 rushing yards, 1,008 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns in five seasons.

The news of Hightower's signing was first reported by NOLA.com.