New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is appealing a four-game suspension with a decision on his status expected within one week.
“At the end of the 2017 season, as a result of a NFL mandated random drug test, Mark Ingram tested positive for a substance that was not a performance enhancing substance, nor an illegal substance, but a substance in fact permissible with the proper use exemption with the NFL. He has vigorously challenged the test results through the arbitration process. The arbitrator’s opinion is due on or before Wednesday, May 16. Upon having the opportunity to review the arbitrator’s opinion, we will explore what further opinions are needed,” the Saints said in a statement.
Ingram would be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2018 season due to violating the NFL’s banned substances policy, the league announced Tuesday.
If the suspension holds, Ingram would be eligible to return to the Saints on Oct. 1, one day after a contest against the New York Giants.
Ingram is allowed to participate in offseason workouts and training camp as well as play in preseason games.
Ingram hasn’t been participating in New Orleans’ voluntary workouts as he reportedly seeks a new contract.
Ingram was slated to earn $4 million in base salary in 2018, and the suspension will cost him $1 million in pay.
The NFL Network floated the possibility of the Saints discussing a trade involving Ingram.
Ingram rushed for career highs of 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and added 58 catches for 416 yards while making the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career.
The 28-year-old also topped 1,000 rushing yards in 2016. His other Pro Bowl appearance was in 2014.
Second-year pro Alvin Kamara — the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year last season — figures to receive a larger workload during Ingram’s suspension.