Top-ranked Alabama will be without star running back Mark Ingram during its season opener Saturday night against San Jose State after he injured his left knee Monday during practice.
Ingram, a junior, who rushed for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns last season while becoming the Crimson Tide’s first Heisman Trophy winner, had an “arthroscopic procedure” Tuesday morning, according to statement released by Alabama coach Nick Saban.
“It was a situation where everyone involved thought it would be better to take care of now, so he would not have any issues with it later in the season,” Saban said.
Without Ingram, Alabama will turn to sophomore Trent Richardson, who rushed for 751 yards and eight touchdowns on 145 carries last season and is considered by some to be a better running back than Ingram. Beyond this week’s game, Saban said Ingram’s status will be managed on a “week-to-week basis.”
“This is not an injury that will affect Mark’s future ability to make a full recovery in a relatively short time frame,” Saban added.
Behind Ingram and Richardson, there isn’t much experience in the backfield. Redshirt freshman Eddie Lacy is listed on the third team.
“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.”
Alabama’s biggest non-conference game comes when No. 19 Penn State visits on Sept. 19. It opens its SEC schedule with a trip to No. 17 Arkansas on Sept. 24.
The Associated Press and FOX Sports South contributed to this report. FOX Sports South has more on this story here.