West had been battling Jonathan Williams, Shane Vereen and sixth-round rookie Boston Scott for backup responsibilities behind Alvin Kamara, who was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2017.
Coach Sean Payton told reporters that the team doesn’t plan to overwork Kamara with fellow running back Mark Ingram set to serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
West was signed to a contract in June following a workout with other free-agent running backs. He had seven carries for 36 yards during the preseason, highlighted by a 21-yard scamper last week against the Arizona Cardinals.
The 27-year-old West is a five-year veteran who was the Cleveland Browns’ third-round pick (94th overall) out of Towson in 2014. He was traded the following year to the Baltimore Ravens, where he spent the last three seasons.
West posted career highs in carries (193), yards (774) and touchdowns (five) in 2016 to go along with 34 receptions for 236 yards and a score. He lost the starter’s role to Alex Collins the following season, during which he had 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns in five games.
The 5-foot-10, 225-pound West has 1,816 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 465 attempts in his NFL career, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. He also has 51 receptions for 344 yards receiving.