What to expect from Latavius Murray in his return to NOLA Saints

New Orleans Saints, Latavius Murray
New Orleans Saints, Latavius Murray / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints have a familiar face returning to the squad in 2022: running back Latavius Murray.

The bad news for the Saints is that Alvin Kamara suffered a rib injury in the season-opener against the Atlanta Falcons, which doesn't seem serious for now but could develop into a nagging issue.

The good news is that NOLA recently signed Latavius Murray to the roster, adding a vital depth piece to the running back unit.

Murray spent last season on the Baltimore Ravens where he ran for 501 yards and scored six touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards per attempt.

What could his 2022 production look like for the Saints?

NOLA Saints bring back Latavius Murray for insurance in the RB room

Murray played for the Saints in 2019 and 2020, serving as Alvin Kamara's trusty backup. He featured in 15 games during that span and accumulated 1,293 rushing yards along with nine touchdowns.

The 32-year-old isn't known for his pass-catching ability but offers one very simple but crucial element heading into 2022: familiarity in the Saints' offensive system.

If Kamara is ruled out for Week 2's fixture, Murray will likely be paired with Mark Ingram to take rotational snaps against a stout Bucs run defense. Murray also shared snaps back in Baltimore when he played with veteran Devonta Freeman, so he should be very used to his expected workload in his second stint with the Saints.

In the long-term, Murray's role in NOLA will heavily depend on Kamara's availability moving forward. Should Kamara miss stretches of the season like he did last year, the Saints may have to rely on both Murray and Ingram to lead the rushing attack.

On the other hand, if Kamara recovers quickly and stays healthy for the rest of the season, Murray will assume at best a RB3 role and sit next to Tony Jones Jr. and a currently injured Dwayne Washington on the depth chart.

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No one's expecting Murray to break out this season -- he poses as just another depth guy in the Saints' running back room in 2022.