Alabama’s Ingram to miss opener with knee injury

Mark Ingram’s run for a second Heisman Trophy has been put on hold, and possibly even derailed, before the Alabama tailback had a chance to gain a single yard.

Ingram will miss No. 1 Alabama’s opener against San Jose State after injuring his left knee late in practice Monday, coach Nick Saban said Tuesday.

Saban said in a statement the star tailback had an arthroscopic procedure and should make a full recovery in a “relatively short time.”

“Mark will definitely be out for this week’s game against San Jose State and we will manage this on a week to week basis beyond this week,” Saban said.

If the absence proves short-lived, it figures to have more of an impact on Ingram’s bid to join Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only two-time Heisman winners than it does on Alabama’s hopes for a repeat national title.

San Jose State went 2-10 last season, but the Crimson Tide face a much stiffer test in the second week of the season. No. 19 Penn State visits Tuscaloosa on Sept. 11, then Alabama travels to Duke.

Alabama does have a talented backup in sophomore Trent Richardson, who ran for 751 yards and scored eight touchdowns last season, including 109 yards and a 49-yard touchdown against Texas in the national title game.

He and Ingram were picked as the preseason first-team all-Southeastern Conference tailbacks.

“It’s different not having (Ingram) out there,” Richardson said. “We’re not losing Mark; he’s still going to be out there. We know we have to do what we have to do. Mark will support us and we will support Mark too.”

Added center William Vlachos: “We are extremely fortunate to have guys behind him that are going to rise to the opportunity.”

Ingram became Alabama’s first Heisman winner as a sophomore after rushing for a school-record 1,658 yards and catching 32 passes. He’s the first running back since Pittsburgh’s Tony Dorsett in 1976 to win both a Heisman and a national title in the same season.

He was the third consecutive sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, joining quarterbacks Tim Tebow of Florida and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford. An early injury sidelined Bradford, while Tebow was a finalist as a junior and a senior though he never got to hoist the bronze statue again.

If Ingram misses more than one game, it could allow players such as Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore or Virginia Tech tailback Ryan Williams — or someone else — to get a head start on him in the Heisman race.

Then again, the emergence of Richardson and a diverse offense that also includes standout receiver Julio Jones might have hindered Ingram’s chances to repeat anyway.

Asked Monday if he thought Alabama could have two 1,000-yard rushers, Ingram said: “Yeah, definitely. I think it’s a definite possibility, but our main goal is to do whatever we can to help this team win. We’re not really focused on stats. We’re focused on executing our assignments, playing the best football we’re capable of playing week in and week out and help this team win games. Stats really isn’t an issue or something we’re focused on.”

There’s not much experience behind Richardson while Ingram is out. Redshirt freshman Eddie Lacy is listed as the third-teamer.

“Eddie’s a little bit taller than all the other running backs,” Ingram said Monday. “He’s a physical runner. He can make you miss. He can catch good out of the backfield. He’s another great back. He’ll be real special here as well.”

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Comments » 17

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

That did it. San Jose State will take this game now.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Hate to see anyone injured. Good luck Mr. I, kind of wished you'd taken those NFL bucks.

TommyJack writes:

Will he be ok for Georgia STATE??

jakethevolguy writes:

With a schedule like that it's no wonder that Bammer is favored to win another NC. lol

nothinglastsforever writes:

Best of luck to the young man in his recovery. See you the third (actually, fourth) Saturday in October. Go Vols!

Biggie writes:

Way to stay on top of things....I'm pretty sure that happened last week.........

orangeman1 writes:

in response to ALLVOLNC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Us fantasy owners that have Trent Richardson. He will be starting vs W Ky this week and will probably run all over them.
Now why its put on a Vols website, I dont know.

Mobbdeep4life writes:

Not a Bama fan by any means but I hate to see that happen to Ingram. He's a class act and a great player. I'm sure he'll bounce back in no time though.

tnsportsman writes:

Sorry about your luck Alabubba, lol. Hope Ingram is not hurt too bad as a person, but could careless about Alabubba!

IMO and one that had an ACL surgery and 2 scopes from playing football; having surgery and/or a scope within 24 hours of being hurt is normally real bad!

Saban wouldn't tell anyone this at this time, even if he knew Ingram was going to be out a long time. My bet is, he is out most of the year.

Either way, that's Alabubba and I don't care!

ITS FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE in 76 HOURS!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

crimsonviper writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Will he be ok for Georgia STATE??

Au contraire my friend..I fear and respect the Ga. version of Vandy.

huntined#565710 writes:

Hate to see a player hurt even if it is not one of our own.. I wish him well and hope he is able to return soon.
GO VOLS!!!

crimsonviper writes:

Not really...I don't even know what part of the state they are in.

VOLliven2it writes:

I want only the best for this young man. It was an honor for him to bring a Heisman back to the SEC. I am no BAMA fan but hated to hear of his injury. Most of all, I hope he recovers completely if not for college this year to move on. He deserves a chance to play on Sundays. His reception speech and tear-filled sincerity at last year's Heisman ceremony is commendable. Best to you Mark Ingram. You are a great back and person.

ClarksvilleVols42 writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

Not really...I don't even know what part of the state they are in.

I think Georgia State is in Atlanta..not 100% sure though

volatil writes:

in response to ClarksvilleVols42:

I think Georgia State is in Atlanta..not 100% sure though

That's correct it is also their first year of playing sports. Bill Curry is their coach.

volatil writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

With a schedule like that it's no wonder that Bammer is favored to win another NC. lol

The fact that you mentioned the words National Championship and Alabama in the same sentence means they have claimed their 347th title. Big party at the Wal-Mart tonight.

TommyJack writes:

GA ST is a commuter skewl in downtown ATL.

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