Alvin Kamara still plans on suiting up for the New Orleans Saints this weekend after suffering a concussion last week against the Atlanta Falcons.
Kamara was out for almost the entire game, and the Saints’ run game was severely lacking as a result of it. The Saints had 50 rushing yards compared to the Falcons’ 132, and while the Saints and the Falcons had multiple missed opportunities throughout the game, the Falcons took more steps forward to get the win.
All throughout this week, Kamara displayed his confidence that he would return against the New York Jets. Even in the wee hours after the Falcons game, Kamara tweeted that he would be “right back at it” for the following week. The tweet was posted when he was fresh into the NFL’s concussion protocol.
He was a full participant in practice yesterday, and it seemed like he passed most of the steps of the concussion protocol. However, it’s still unclear as to if he passed all of the steps. In order for him to be officially cleared to return to the playing field, he needs to return to baseline status, meaning that he gets the proper rest and exertion needed for his return and that he can go through the motions without experiencing any symptoms.
Kamara will practice again today, and head coach Sean Payton said earlier this morning that he anticipates Kamara playing against the Jets. “You go through a full practice and you get examined, and then today, you repeat,” Payton added. “That’s the expectation.”
The Saints offense continues to have a significant boost with Kamara in the lineup. The third-round draft pick from the University of Tennessee has 1,247 total yards and 11 total touchdowns and is now the man to beat for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Kamara is just the third player in NFL history to have 600 rushing and receiving yards in a rookie season. He and Mark Ingram aren’t just one of the best running back tandems in recent Saints history but of the entire NFL this season.
Kamara’s injury against the Falcons adds to a string of significant injuries that have happened on Thursday Night Football this season. Just over a month ago, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman ruptured his Achilles in a win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Saints lost five additional players against the Falcons, and even Drew Brees made lots of national headlines by voicing his displeasure over playing in Thursday night games. “[The injuries] are 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night,” he said.
Having Kamara back for the Jets game will be more than a good thing for the Saints. The Falcons’ win over the Saints puts them one game back of winning the division title, and the Saints and the Carolina Panthers currently share first place of the lead. The Saints are bound to have their first 10-win season since 2013, and having their key players back for that critical stretch will help that become a reality.
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