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Saints struggle without Alvin Kamara after his concussion against Falcons

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The rookie running back suffered the injury on the Saints’ first drive.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara suffered an injury early in the first quarter against the Falcons Thursday night after taking a hit from linebacker Deion Jones.

Kamara immediately left the field, and was evaluated in the injury tent. He was then taken to the locker room. He would not come out for the remainder of the first half, and would later be ruled out for the rest of the game against the Falcons.

Kamara does believe he’ll be back in action for Week 15.

The Saints lost the game 20-17, where the Saints saw injuries to four other players. But none were as big as Kamara’s.

The Saints didn’t look like the same team without Kamara.

Short term, we can look at this as an example of the possible impact a prolonged absence would have on the Saints:

We don’t know how long Kamara will be out, but to say that losing him on the first drive of this particular game had a huge impact on the game.

They lost arguably their biggest weapon in a huge game.

He’s a rookie, but has made up half of the Saints’ killer running back duo, along with Mark Ingram. The two came into the game with a combined 1,528 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, but they have also been effective through the air with 869 yards and four touchdowns.

Kamara has been so good this season, that Saints head coach Sean Payton said earlier this week, “Look, if we had known what we were going to get as a runner, we wouldn't have taken him in the third round,” he told the Times-Picayune. “We would've taken him earlier.”

Coming into Thursday’s game, Kamara had 86 rushes for 606 yards and seven touchdowns — that’s good for an average of seven yards per carry.

His receiving numbers are just as impressive, with 60 catches for 614 yards and four touchdowns. Again, averaging an impressive 10.2 yards per reception.

The 5’10, 215-pound running back joined Charley Taylor and Billy Sims as the only rookies in NFL history to have 600 yards on the ground and through the air this past week. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to expand on that in Week 14 in Atlanta.

Lucky for the Saints, they still have Ingram.

As previously mentioned, Ingram and Kamara have been an incredible duo in the backfield this season — and Ingram’s had one of the best seasons of his career.

Coming into Thursday night’s game, Ingram had 180 rushes for 922 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s not as prolific as Kamara is in the receiving game, but he has still accumulated 42 receptions for 255 yards.

While Kamara’s absence isn’t good for New Orleans, they can rely on Ingram depending on how long the rookie sensation will be out.


How Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram dissect defenses