New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram will be missing the first four games of the season because of a PED suspension, and that means the team is trying to get him some extra work during the preseason.
Ingram will serve a four-game suspension to start the season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.
It'll be unfamiliar territory for Ingram, who said he has never missed time with a team since he started playing sports. He sat out the first two preseason games in 2017, but to prepare him for the time off this year, the Saints gave Ingram 14 carries and targeted him once on 23 offensive snaps through the first two exhibition contests. The team wants to get Ingram ready physically and mentally before he returns Week 5. Backfield mate Alvin Kamara shined while working in tandem with Ingram last season and hasn't been a bell cow so far in his career. Therefore, even though the Saints want to continue working Ingram hard, they'll need to focus on finding a suitable No. 2 for Kamara during Ingram's suspension. Jonathan Williams, Shane Vereen, Terrance West and rookie Boston Scott are battling for that spot.
"I don't know what that's going to be like or how it's going to feel," Ingram said Sunday. "I'm sure it's not going to feel good. It's my first time ever being away from my team in any form of fashion since I've been playing sports, but it is what is at this point. We're just working. I'm doing everything I can to prepare us to get off to a fast start."
Losing Ingram is a difficult blow for the Saints because he and Alvin Kamara combined to be one of the best backfield tandems in Football history last year. Ingram, 28, is also in the prime of his career as he's had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing campaigns.