New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara will almost certainly receive a suspension in the coming days. The five-time Pro Bowler is set to meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell in the coming days, and the league will likely make a decision on Kamara’s fate shortly after the encounter. Just about everyone expects the running back to miss some time in 2023, but if he misses more than six games, the Saints might decide to add another runner to fill in for a while.
6 Players That Could Fill In During An Alvin Kamara Suspension
If the season started today, Jamaal Williams and Kendre Miller would be battling for carries behind Alvin Kamara. While neither player has any experience with the New Orleans Saints, both players offer a decent amount of potential. Williams is coming off a career season, recording a career-high 14 touchdowns behind Detroit’s elite offensive line. Miller, meanwhile, was a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft that boasts ideal size and strength for the position but might not be a three-down type of player.
If the Alvin Kamara suspension only lasts for three to four games, then the Saints can probably get by with these two atop the running back depth chart. However, if Kamara misses half the season or more, then New Orleans might be in trouble. Williams isn’t nearly as good as his touchdown total would imply, and you never want to put too much faith in an untested rookie like Miller. So, with this in mind, the Saints could turn to the open market to replace Alvin Kamara.
As of this posting, the best free agent running backs remaining are Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, and Kareem Hunt. Cook is easily the best of the bunch, but it’s hard to imagine a world where the Saints sign him. All signs point towards the former Minnesota Viking signing with the New York Jets, so we’ll assume he’s off the table.
With that in mind, New Orleans might have to decide between Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt to fill in during an Alvin Kamara suspension. At the peaks of their respective powers, both players were among the best running backs in the game. However, age has caught up to both players, and neither one is anything more than a committee player at this point in their careers.
Selecting between Elliott and Hunt is simply a matter of preference. Based on their respective 2022 tape, Hunt appears to be a little more explosive at this point in his career, but there is a chance that Elliott could show some more life in a smaller role. Additionally, the former Cowboy is a considerably better pass blocker, and that might be the difference-maker for a team like New Orleans with weak links across the offensive line.
Former #Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott working on game simulations and last second moves to get vertical 🏈
— Brandon Loree (@Brandoniswrite) July 28, 2023
Chances are, the Saints will weather the Alvin Kamara suspension with Williams, Miller, and one of the aforementioned free agents. However, there is a chance that the team decides to go wild and trade for one of the many disgruntled running backs around the league.
If the Saints decide to trade for a running back, J.K. Dobbins is the most likely fit. The former second-round pick wants a new contract, but Baltimore appears unwilling to hand one out thanks to his long list of injuries. Additionally, the Ravens have a reliable backup in Gus Edwards and an impressive rookie in Keaton Mitchell. These two might be enough to convince the Ravens to sell Dobbins for pennies on the dollar, and the Saints should be interested in the young talent. After all, Alvin Kamara isn’t getting any younger, and this suspension could open the door for somebody else to step up as the lead back.
Alternatively, the Saints could decide to make a major splash and trade for Jonathan Taylor. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Taylor and the Colts aren’t exactly on the best of terms and a trade seems imminent. New Orleans could decide to move on from Alvin Kamara altogether and replace him with one of the best young talents in the game.
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