New Orleans Saints: The impact of superstar Alvin Kamara’s return

New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Sean Payton told reporters that he expects star running back Alvin Kamara to suit up in week ten against the Atlanta Falcons.

What exceptional news to hear if you are a New Orleans Saints fan — Alvin Kamara is back! The star running back has been battling knee and ankle issues for a couple of weeks now. Between him and Drew Brees, the Saints haven’t been a fully healthy team since week two.

Even after the bye, they’ll still have injuries, but the bulk of their playmakers will be on the field.

“I fully expect him to be ready to play, and I thought he looked really good yesterday (in practice),” Payton said according to ESPN reporter Mike Triplett.

However, somehow, they are still 7-1, thanks to Teddy Bridgewater and Latavius Murray filling in. The big debate heading into week eight was if Kamara and Brees were going to come back the week before the bye or sit out the bye and return in week ten or longer.

Drew Brees ended up coming back in week eight to a great game putting away doubts about his health. Alvin Kamara ended up sitting the game and taking the extra bye week off. Now, he is back in time for week ten and the New Orleans Saints are back to being mostly healthy.

There are still a couple questions that remain to be answered. Is Alvin Kamar 100% healthy? What will Latavius Murray’s role be in the offense now that he has shown how dominant he can be?

Is Alvin Kamar 100% healthy? I would say that he is. The New Orleans coaching and training staff have a history of holding players out until they are completely healthy. Especially with a star player like Alvin Kamara, I don’t think the Saints risk it if he is not completely ready to go.

However, ankle injuries do nag so hopefully, he doesn’t re-aggravate it.

On the other side, what will Latavius Murray’s role look like now?

There is no doubt that Murray showed just what a force he can be behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. In the couple games Kamara missed, Murray totaled 221 yards rushing with three touchdowns and added 14 receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown.

Pure dominance from the newly acquired Saints’ backup.

Last year Kamara and Mark Ingram were put together into a committee that would out extremely well. This offseason saw Ingram walk away for a bigger contract to the Baltimore Ravens and saw Latavius Murray step into his role — or so we thought.

Through the first six games, Murray only had 138 rushing yards (almost half of what he had starting in two games). His role was clearly different then we thought it would be seeing Kamara take over 90% of the snaps while he was healthy.

In terms of Murray’s new role, he needs to be implemented along the same lines Ingram was a  year ago. In an effort to keep Kamara healthy, Murray should be able to give him some in-game breathers and keep him from running 15+ times per game.

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It is an exciting day to be a Saints’ fan, Alvin Kamara is back!