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Saints players respond to Mark Ingram's suspension

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New Orleans Saints players are beginning to deal with the realization they won't have the team's leading rusher, Mark Ingram, for the first four games of the 2018 season.

Following his suspension, Ingram is set to miss tilts against the Buccaneers, Falcons, Browns and Giants.

"If he does have to miss games, he will be missed," defensive end Alex Okafor told Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune. "You can't replace anybody like that. He's one of the best backs in the league. He's dynamic, huge in the run and passing game. It's going to be hard to cope with, but if anybody could find a way to do it, it's going to be Sean Payton and Drew Brees. I'm sure we'll be all right."

Ingram led the Saints in rushing last season with 1,124 yards on 230 carries with 12 TDs.

"We know that he is a guy that is definitely needed on this team," tight end Benjamin Watson said. "He's a guy that contributes, and more important than that, he's a father, he's a husband and he's a friend, so I look forward to catching up with him and seeing what happened."

The Saints will lean heavily on Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara during Ingram's absence. The depth behind Kamara those four weeks could be a bigger question. NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported the team doesn't plan to add a veteran. Instead, they'll lean on their current cast, including sixth-round rookie Boston Scott. Behind Ingram and Kamara, the reserve backs saw few totes in 2017. Trey Edmunds led the way with nine total carries.

Expect Kamara to see the boatload of carries until Ingram returns in Week 5.

"The guy isn't retiring or anything like that," Edmunds said of Ingram. "He's going to be back and we're excited and we're ready for him."

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