The league has not released details about whether Ingram has tested positive for a performance enhancing drug or simply a banned masking agent.
Last season, his seventh in the NFL, Ingram rushed for a career-high 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Saints will start the season without Mark Ingram's services.
Ingram will be eligible to return to the active roster October 1 and can play October 8 vs. Washington.
Following up on that, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports the Saints were already going to have Ingram taking on a lesser role in 2018, with Alvin Kamara taking over as the lead back. Rapoport noted on Twitter that the looming punishment was the reason New Orleans "hasn't shopped" Ingram to other teams for a potential trade. "He is now in the past year of his contract, and as Rapoport suggested, he is "[desiring] a new deal" with the Saints, even if it means possibly playing second fiddle to the younger Kamara.
Even if the suspension gets reduced to three games, by appeal, Ingram would still miss the Week 3 road clash with the Falcons. He caught 58 passes for 416 yards.
The good news for the Saints is that if there's one team in the National Football League that can afford to lose their leading rusher for four games, it might be New Orleans.
The former Heisman Trophy victor was a first-round draft pick in 2011. He is eligible to participate in all off-season activities.