Mark Ingram's potential absence comes at good spot on the schedule

Posted May 10, 2018

News broke Tuesday that Mark Ingram had been suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and the New Orleans Saints standout has responded.

Ingram's agents suggested in their statement that they may explore further options once they review the arbitrator's full opinion, which is due by May 16.

"He has vigorously challenged the test results through the arbitration process".

In the earlier statement, Jones said the substance for which Ingram failed the drug test is "permissible with the proper use exemption", noting it was neither performance enhancing nor illegal. Looking at the Saints' last four games of 2017, Ingram's numbers were in decline.

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However it plays out, the Saints will need help at the position if Ingram isn't available for the first four weeks.

Ingram's numbers slightly falling off, averaging 2.8 yards per carry, 31.5 yards rushing per game and only 1 touchdown. Ingram is still allowed to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

Ingram led New Orleans with 230 carries for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns last season while adding 58 catches for 416 yards. As the Saints have one of the hardest schedules in the league this season, the beginning of the year might be the best time for Ingram to miss.

Ingram and Alvin Kamara became the first teammate rushers to each produce 1,500 total yards from scrimmage in the same season previous year as the Saints went 11-5, losing 29-24 at Minnesota in the second round of the National Football League playoffs.