Dareus Is Out, Ingram Doubtful
In his regular Monday press briefing, Alabama Coach Nick Saban said that The University would not appeal the second game of a two-game suspension assessed by the NCAA against junior defensive end Marcell Dareus. The penalty is for Dareus receiving improper benefits, allegedly from an agent.
Saban said that junior tailback Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, is making progress and has moved up a level in his rehabilitation following arthroscopic surgery for a knee injury suffered last week, but the coach added he isn't making any predictions. He added that "it would probably be a stretch for everything to go perfectly" as Ingram is evaluated each day.
Thus, Dareus will definitely miss this week's game against nationally ranked Penn State. The number one ranked Crimson Tide will host the Nittany Lions at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium with national television coverage by ESPN.
Saban reminded reporters that when the two-game penalty against Dareus was announced, "I said that we would appeal." However, he said, just because the coach doesn't think the penalty is fair, that doesn't mean an appeal can be successful.
"We have to have precedent to appeal," Saban said, "precedent being some other case or some other circumstance...We don't really feel like we have good precedent."
Saban said it would always be the position of The University to protect the players, "to go the extra mile to try to help them, to benefit them," but the lack of precedent gave them no avenue.
"That issue is really dead," Saban said.
Dareus was the most valuable defensive player in last season's BCS National Championship Game victory over Texas. He will return to action in Bama's third game of the season on Sept. 18 at Duke.
The most valuable offensive player in the BCS National Championship Game was Ingram. Although not declared out of the Penn State game, he would be considered extremely doubtful.
Saban discussed both Ingram and sophomore safety Wesley Neighbors, who is out with an injury. "Both of these guys are sort of in the same boat," Saban said Monday. "They're both going to start some dry-land rehab today. Every rehab and every step of the way when you come back from this has to be evaluated in 12-to-24 hours as to how you react to that. It's going to be a day-to-day basis as to whether he can take the next step and the next step and the next step. You can ask me, but I don't know if he'll be able to play in this game. It depends on how reacts every day. Nobody really knows how that's going to be. It would probably be a little bit of a stretch for everything to go perfectly, but that's where it is. That's all anybody really knows right now, so that's all anybody can say. I'm not making any predictions or any hypothetical situations or whatever. That's just the way it is."
Saban was asked what he would need to see from Ingram before the tailback would be back in action.
"We just need to see him be able to be himself, be 100 per cent, be able to practice enough to be confident and ready, but I'm not anticipating that's going to happen," Saban said. "I'm anticipating Mark making progress every day and that we're going to evaluate his progress on a daily basis. Whenever he's ready to play, and he's practiced enough and he's confident and he's fully recovered and the doctors clear him to play because he won't have any future issues, then we'll make a decision to play him. That decision hasn't been made, so to ask me hypotheticals. What do I have to see? I have to see Mark Ingram be Mark Ingram."
Saban also discussed two men who suffered ankle injuries during the Tide's 48-3 win over San Jose State in the season opener last Saturday. Linebacker Courtney Upshaw and offensive tackle D.J. Fluker left the game with injuries.
Saban said Upshaw is "probably going to be out [Monday]. We're hopeful he'll be able to practice [Tuesday]." He said Upshaw would be on the field Monday, though not practicing.
He said Fluker's injury did not appear to be serious Saturday night, but there "was a littel more swelling and a few more problems. He'll be very limited and do very little in practice [Monday]. We also feel like he should be able to practice [Tuesday]."
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