Mark Ingram unlikely to play against Penn State

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Running back Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball against the Texas Longhorns during the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said his Heisman Trophy running back Mark Ingram probably won’t play this Saturday against Penn State.

From MSNBC:

“We’ll continue to progress him day-to-day,” Saban said. “He hasn’t had any swelling or problems. If he can continue to progress — I would say he’s probably not going to be ready to play this week. He might be ready by the game, but he won’t be able to practice enough.

“After that, maybe we have a chance to get him back if he continues to progress.”

When the news surfaced last week that Ingram was having surgery, I questioned whether or not he could recovery in less then 14 days and play against Penn State (which it doesn’t look like he will).

And there’s no reason to rush him back. Penn State might be a top 25-team, but they have plenty of issues offensively and had to replace all three starting linebackers on defense. Why risk further injury with Ingram when Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy can carry the load until he’s healthy enough to play again?

I’m thinking we’ll see Ingram return next week against Duke, although again, if he’s not 100% then there’s no reason Saban should rush him back onto the field. The Tide needs Ingram down the stretch – not now.

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