The New Orleans Saints are going to have a new quarterback for the first time since 2006 and this puts even more pressure than usual on running back Alvin Kamara. If anything happens to Kamara during the course of the 2021 season and forces him to miss an extended period of time, the Saints’ offense could be in trouble.
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports put together a list of every non-quarterback player that a team can’t afford to lose. For the Saints, it was obviously Kamara, and here’s why Benjamin unsurprisingly picked the former third-round pick:
"Their WR depth isn’t great, so losing Michael Thomas would be a major hit to Jameis Winston’s bid to be Drew Brees’ long-term successor. But losing Kamara would be even bigger, even though Latavius Murray is a quality fill-in, because he’s one of the game’s ultimate safety valves — a more explosive Christian McCaffrey. Cameron Jordan and Marcus Williams would be big losses, too."
There really isn’t another answer to this question for the Saints. This offense would look completely different without Kamara in the lineup. That’s not disrespecting Latavius Murray either because he isn’t the same kind of player as Kamara, who can do it all whenever he takes the field.
The New Orleans Saints can’t afford to lose Alvin Kamara.
With a new quarterback taking the snaps in the Big Easy, it’s even more important for Kamara to show up and be dominant. He’s not only one of the best running backs in the game, but he’s a huge threat in the passing game as well, which is what makes him such a nightmare matchup for defenses.
As Benjamin noted, the Saints don’t have a great situation at wide receiver but they didn’t have Michael Thomas for most of last season and the offense still kept on trucking. That was because of Kamara and the impact he has whenever the ball is in his hands.
As for Jordan and Williams being the other potential options, arguments could certainly be made there. Both are some of the best in the league at their respective positions so losing that would hurt but the entire defense wouldn’t fall off a cliff without them like the offense would without Kamara.
The Saints have a chance to be competitive in 2021 even with a new quarterback and Alvin Kamara is one of the main reasons why. Losing him would be detrimental to this offense and to the entire team.