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 yesterday.
Saban said 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 in a statement.
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 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.