It would be really easy for the Saints to overwork Alvin Kamara during Mark Ingram’s four-game suspension. Luckily, Sean Payton already sees the danger.
The New Orleans Saints know their offense will have to adjust to life without Mark Ingram for the first four games of the 2018 campaign. Fortunately, Sean Payton and company already understand that handing all of Ingram’s carries to Alvin Kamara would be a poor plan.
Ingram will miss the start of the season after violating the NFL’s PED policy. That will require the Saints to figure out something different to do with the ball roughly 15 times a game. It’s only natural to think that some of those carries will go directly to Kamara.
Don’t expect the former Tennessee star to shoulder the entire load. The Saints coaching staff understands that overloading Kamara could negate his efficiency as a player. Running backs coach Joel Thomas said it would be a “disservice” to shift too much of the workload to Kamara.
That might be disappointing to fantasy football fans looking to capitalize on Kamara in the early season. However, its excellent news for Saints fans who want to see their team make a deep run into the playoffs next season. Burning out Kamara over the first month of the season would be a great way to lower the team’s chances of emerging as a real Super Bowl contender.
Instead, look for Payton and the coaching staff to live with other running back options when the 2018 season begins. There isn’t a clear favorite to join Kamara in the rotation, but there are some intriguing options. The team specifically seems to have high hopes for Jonathan Williams. He was a fifth-round pick for the Buffalo Bills back in 2016, but the Saints acquired him late last season. It’s important to note that he played for Thomas during his collegiate career at Arkansas.
No matter who soaks up Ingram’s carries to start the season, look for Kamara to continue to shoulder roughly the same workload he carried last season. The Saints understand that he needs to stay fresh to flourish.