Mark Ingram suspended by National Football League for first four games of 2018

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Mark Ingram suspended by National Football League for first four games of 2018

The league has not released details about whether Ingram has tested positive for a performance enhancing drug or simply a banned masking agent.

The standard suspension for a first-time PED offense is four games.

It looks like the New Orleans Saints are going to have to start their 2018 season without their leading rusher from 2017 on the field.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport (via NFL.com), the Saints learned before the draft of Ingram's suspension, which was announced after he mounted an unsuccessful appeal. He'll be eligible to return to the Saints active roster on October 1st and he can participate in all off-season activities. Rapoport noted on Twitter that the looming punishment was the reason New Orleans "hasn't shopped" Ingram to other teams for a potential trade. After all, the Saints still have Alvin Kamara to pick of the slack.

Ingram, 28, will miss games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants.

After signing a four-year deal with the Saints in 2015 that averages $4 million annually, Ingram is set to lose approximately $1 million because of the suspension.

Ingram, a former Heisman Trophy victor at Alabama and a first-round draft choice in 2011, got off to a slow start in the National Football League because of nagging injuries, inconsistent production and an overcrowded backfield. He also had 81 catches for 826 yards and five receiving touchdowns, earning Pro Bowl honors and a spot on the second All-Pro team as a flex. However, over the past four years (2014-17), Ingram has more than doubled his rushing production by averaging exactly 975 yards per season.

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