The New Orleans Saints were on their way to a road win against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday after running back Tim Hightower had a 2-yard touchdown run with 3:27 remaining to give his team a 14-point lead.
Ingram, the Saints' leading rusher this season with 850 yards, was apparently angered by Payton's decision to remove him and put in Hightower. Hightower scored on the first play after Ingram gave his team a first-and-goal at the Arizona 2.
Payton declined to talk about the incident in his postgame news conference, but Ingram, who led the Saints with 78 yards on 17 carries, said the outburst was a result of his competitive nature.
Ingram was seen congratulating Hightower, a former Cardinals player, shortly after the latter's second rushing touchdown of the day against his old team.
"I'm real competitive in everything I do," Ingram said. "I've got to be smarter, I've got to control my emotions better. But we had a great win as a team ... that's our No. 1 goal and that's what I'm happy for."
"It's a tough situation, especially when you get down there to the goal line ... as a running back, your eyes are lighting up," Hightower noted. "I understand his frustrations. I know he knows it's an emotional game, you've just got to make sure you control your emotions."
Ingram credited his teammates and coaches for calming him down, saying, "That's what a family's about. I appreciate all those guys being there for me and being understanding."
--Before his outburst, Ingram became the fourth Saint to surpass the 4,000-yard rushing mark for his career.
On his fifth carry of the Saints' opening possession, Ingram had an 11-yard gain that gave him 35 yards for the day and pushed his career total to 4,002 yards.
That enabled the six-year veteran to join an elite list that includes Deuce McAllister, who is the franchise's all-time rushing leader with 6,096 yards, as well as George Rogers (4,267) and Dalton Hilliard (4,164).
Ingram, a former first-round draft pick, finished the day with 78 yards and now has 4,045 for his career.
-- The Saints, who had scored just 24 points in their previous two games, and the Cardinals combined for the highest-scoring game in the NFL this season.