Another National Football League player is dealing with a suspension. On Tuesday, the NFL announced that New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram will be sitting out.
Ingram, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, failed a drug test following the 2017 season. The player’s agents attempted to fight the ruling, but the NFL is upholding the decision.
It is common for players to fight suspensions. However, the NFL rarely drops the suspension entirely. Reductions are typical, but the NFL is holding firm so far.
Mark Ingram Suspension Upheld
Still, Ingram’s agents claim the former Alabama star did nothing wrong. According to the agents, Paul Bobbitt and David Jones, the substance in question is legal.
Bobbitt and Jones claim their client did not test positive for performance-enhancing drugs or any illegal substances. However, the item was supposedly allowed with a proper use exemption.
The NFL has yet to release a full report on the test and resulting suspension. Therefore, the substance triggering the discipline is not yet known.
The league is expecting a full report from the arbitrator overseeing the case by May 16.
Bobbitt and Jones aren’t giving up fighting the ruling, however. Once the league releases the full report, they will further assess the situation. If there is more room to appeal, they’ll use it.
Mark Ingram is coming off of his best professional season. The former first-round pick ran for a career-high 1,124 yards. Also, he scored 12 rushing touchdowns, his most in any campaign.
Ingram, 28, rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. In 2017 he and teammate Alvin Kamara became the first pair of running back teammates to both make the Pro Bowl.
If the suspension holds up, the Saints will be without their runner for four games. Ingram will miss contests against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Giants.
It may not seem like a dangerous amount of time to miss, but it could be impactful. The Buccaneers and Falcons are critical divisional match-ups early on. Also, the Browns and Giants look much improved after selecting high in the NFL Draft.
Ingram joins a list of 12 other NFL players facing suspensions to start 2018. The most notable are Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis (4 games) and Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (4 games).