The NFL has suspended Saints running back Mark Ingram four games. Ingram, per a league announcement, has violated the league’s PED policy.
Per the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Ingram will be permitted to take part in all of the Saints’ offseason work, training camp, and the preseason, but he will not be able to practice or play in the first four weeks of the season. Ingram did not show up for the Saints’ voluntary offseason workouts to this point, so he could be rather rusty by the time the fifth game of the season rolls around.
Ingram posted arguably the best campaign of his seven-year career in 2017. Pairing with dynamic rookie Alvin Kamara, Ingram managed career-highs in carries (230), yards (1,124), rushing touchdowns (12), and receptions (58). Ingram ranked seventh in Football Outsiders‘ DVOA, meaning he was effective on a per-play basis, and also finished as a top-15 pass-blocker among running backs, per Pro Football Focus.
Fortunately for the Saints, they have Kamara to pick up the slack in Ingram’s absence, though they may want to take a closer look at other running backs to help bridge the gap in reserve. Trey Edmunds, Daniel Lasco, Jonathan Williams, and sixth-round pick Boston Scott are also under contract.
For Ingram, it’s a bad look as he heads into his contract year. He was already looking at an uphill battle given that he is entering his age-29 season and the free agent market for running backs is weaker than most other position groups.
Ingram will miss games home games against the Buccaneers and Browns and road contests against the Falcons and Giants. He’s now slated to make his season debut in a Week 5 contest in New Orleans against the Redskins.
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