Saints players have had only a day to digest the reality that they will be without starting running back Mark Ingram for the first four games of the 2018 season.
Ingram was suspended on Tuesday after violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. He will miss games against Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Cleveland and the New York Giants. While the Saints will still have Alvin Kamara to step up in Ingram’s place for the first month, the loss of Ingram will be noticed.
“The guy isn’t retiring or anything like that,” running back Trey Edmunds said. “He’s going to be back and we’re excited and we’re ready for him.”
According to Nicki Jhabvala of the Athletic, Darian Stewart, Chris Harris, Von Miller, Emmanuel Sanders and others have made a point of working with their fellow teammates in effort to bring them along as quickly as possible.
“I’m going to teach those guys everything that I know. That’s my job,” Sanders said. “You see a lot of these cats, when they get up in age, they kind of shy away from the rookies. I will never, ever be that type of receiver that says, ‘No, I’m not going to teach this guy.’ I’m going to teach you everything that I can possibly do.
Harris has organized offseason workouts in Texas for the defensive backs. Miller will hold another “pass-rush summit” this offseason.
The Broncos lost some of that cohesion between its veterans and younger players last season, per Jhabvala, with in-fighting and resentment between the two groups. The hope is they can recapture the formula that helped lead them to a Super Bowl title three years ago.
I think maybe that was being a little too optimistic in our eyes, but we expected him back. I get the questioning. Until Andrew steps off Week One and walks out of that tunnel and starts playing again, we’re still going to answer questions. There’s still going to be doubt. And I get that. That’s why I don’t mind standing up there answering the questions. I don’t mind and I get where the doubt comes from.”
It definitely will keep coming until Luck can play. And play well. And then the question will become whether and when he suffers the next injury that make shelve him for an indefinite period of time.