Heisman Winner Ingram Out for Season Opener With Knee Injury

By Michael Preston
|  Wednesday, Sep 1, 2010  |  Updated 5:15 AM CDT
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PASADENA,CA - JANUARY 07: Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball against the Texas Longhorns on January 7, 2010 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Alabama defeated Texas 37-21. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

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The Alabama Crimson Tide may be rolling slower than usual as they're set to start their 2010 campaign without Heisman winner Mark Ingram, who had arthroscopic surgery just four days before the season opener.

The junior running back sustained a left knee injury during practice Monday evening and a decision was quickly made to have the surgery as quickly as possible, reports ESPN.

Head coach Nick Saban said that it was a "situation where everyone thought it would be better to take care of it now, so he would not have any issues with it later in the season."

While the Crimson Tide should have few problems in their opening game against unranked San Jose State, they face a strong slate of contests in the coming weeks, facing off with #19 Penn State, a greatly improved Duke squad, and #17 Arkansas before a showdown with #4 Florida October 2.

Trent Richardson will handle the ball carrying duties while Ingram rehabs. The sophomore back broke out in last year's BCS title game against Texas, burning the Longhorns for 109 yards and a touchdown.

The injury puts a serious dent on Ingram's chances to win a second Heisman, which would place him in the rarefied company of Ohio State great Archie Griffin.

Ingram was the first Heisman winner in the history of Alabama's storied program, as the powerful runner racked up 1,658 yards and 20 touchdowns last year. He won the closest race in the award's 75-year history, beating out Stanford's Toby Gerhart by just 28 points. 

Selected Reading: ESPN, NY Times, Bleacher Report

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