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
”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
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
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
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
”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.”