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

New Orleans Saints Running Back Mark Ingram

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

"Ingram is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games".

Ingram will be eligible to return to the Saints on Monday, October 1.

The NFL has handed Ingram a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The suspension could prove even more costly if he was angling for a lucrative contract extension before the season kicked off. Last season, the University of Tennessee product rolled for 81 catches, 1,554 total yards and 13 touchdowns, while collecting Associated Press Offensive Rookie Of The Year honors.

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It's unclear who will be next in line in the Saints backfield after Kamara. The Saints also have a more experienced backup, Jonathan Williams, on the roster. The 2017 NFL Rookie of the Year, he carried the ball 120 times for 728 yards and 8 touchdowns. Kamara will be well worth a first-round pick in this summer's fantasy drafts. May.

Ina Rapoport of NFL.com reports New Orleans may have tried gauging trade interest in Ingram since he is going into the final year of his deal, but with the suspension looming, it has made it much harder to put anything together.

Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy victor from Alabama, has been terrific in the pros, averaging 1,359 total yards and nine touchdowns over the last four seasons (2014-17).

He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2014, 2017) and has 5,362 career rushing yards and 44 rushing touchdowns.

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