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New Orleans Saints Running Back Mark Ingram Suspended

A Super Bowl contender is weakened by a suspension to one of it's best players.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saint Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

According to multiple sources, the NFL has suspended New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram for the first 4 games of the 2018 season for violation of the league's PED policy. Ingram, who had a career best season last year with 1,124 yards rushing, 12 rushing touchdowns, 416 yards receiving and a Pro Bowl berth, was coming into the final year of his contract. He reportedly had not been seen around team facilities in weeks, and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has hinted that the Saints may have even been shopping one of the franchise's all-time leading rushers for a potential trade.

New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Ingram, who is just 734 yards away from passing Deuce McAllister as the franchise's all-time rushing leader, may have taken a secondary role to Alvin Kamara in the team's offensive plans. All eyes will now be on Kamara, last season's offensive rookie of the year, to not only duplicate his all-purpose success but to take on a bigger role in the Saints rushing attack. Kamara finished last season with 728 yards rushing, second only to Ingram, along with 81 receptions for 826 yards and 13 offensive touchdowns.

Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The other running backs currently under contract with New Orleans are second year backs Trey Edmunds and Jonathan Williams, Daniel Lasco, who is returning from injury, and Boston Scott, a 6th round pick in last month's draft from Louisiana Tech. The Saints open up the season at home against division rival Tampa Bay on September 9th, then in week two host the Cleveland Browns. They travel to fellow NFC contender and bitter rival Atlanta in week 3, then venture north for a game against the New York Giants in week four.