Alabama running back Mark Ingram underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on August 31 of last year, just prior to the start of the college season. He missed only two games, returning on September 18 to thump the Duke Blue Devils for 151 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Ingram would go on to average 5.54 yards per carry on the season, down from his Heisman-winning 6.12 mark as a sophomore, but still plenty admirable considering the stiff competition in the Southeastern Conference.
But there have been rumors that the long-term stability of Ingram’s knee is tenuous. And NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi reported something that may substantiate that speculation on Wednesday evening’s Path to the Draft.
“I’ve had two teams tell me the knee is very bad,” said Lombardi. “He won’t be on their boards. These are teams that need running backs.”
NFL Network’s Mike Mayock didn’t go as far as Lombardi, but did acknowledge Ingram is in danger of falling out of round one, where he’s so often projected.
“Even fully healthy, I have concerns about whether he’s a first-round pick,” said Mayock of Ingram. “I’m not so sure he’s going there.”
As usual, we’d caution to approach this information while keeping in mind the time of year. Misinformation is king. But this isn’t the first time Lombardi has spoken of potential long-range knee issues for Ingram.
“I think it could cause him to slip (in the draft),” he said on March 31. Lombardi suggested that Ingram may have degenerative arthritis, a condition that has been linked to Da’Quan Bowers and will likely cause the Clemson defensive end to fall on draft weekend, as well.