What Alvin Kamara’s Suspension Means for the New Orleans Saints

The NFL handed down a three-game suspension to Saints RB Alvin Kamara on Friday. How will New Orleans proceed without Kamara?

The NFL has suspended New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara for three games under the league’s personal conduct policy. Kamara was involved in an altercation at the 2022 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas, Nev., and was initially facing a felony charge before pleading down to a misdemeanor in early July.

NFL Issues Three-Game Suspension to Saints RB Alvin Kamara

Kamara was arrested in Feb. 2022 after assaulting a man, Darnell Greene, before last year’s Pro Bowl. Kamara and a group of men — which included current Colts cornerback Chris Lammons, who has also been suspended for three games — attacked Greene, who was knocked unconscious and suffered an orbital fracture and other injuries.

In March 2023, Kamara pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit battery and substantial bodily harm charges. He had been set for a July 31 trial date but made a plea agreement earlier in the month, pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of breaching the peace. Kamara will have to perform community service and pay his victim $100,000 in medical bills.

Additionally, Kamara also settled a civil suit with the victim. Greene’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, indicated that the suit had been settled with confidential terms. Greene had originally sued Kamara for $10 million.

Kamara met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week before the league decided on his suspension.

“I never want to be involved in something where someone gets hurt or severely injured or anything,” Kamara said Friday.

“Poor judgment on my end. Definitely a bad decision. I was completely wrong. I embarrassed the Saints, I embarrassed my family and my mother. I embarrassed myself, embarrassed the city, and the shield, obviously, embarrassed the NFL.

“So I just try to do my best to try to keep it as much away from the media and as much away from the team as I could. Obviously, it’s hard to do that when you’ve got such an incident like this. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tough. I’ve lost a lot throughout this ordeal.

“Definitely not looking for any pity, not looking for somebody to pat me on the back and say, ‘It’s OK.’ I know what I did, I know what I was involved in, and I definitely take responsibility, and that’s part of being a man and growing.”

A three-game ban is probably a better outcome than Kamara and the Saints may have even hoped for. Many NFL players suspended for assault in the past have been forced to miss six games, while most observers expected Kamara to be banned for at least four contests.

How Will the Saints Replace Kamara?

Kamara will miss the Saints’ games against the Titans, Panthers, and Packers to begin the 2023 campaign. Although Kamara is New Orleans’ most talented running back, the club made an effort to supplement him over the offseason and should have enough talent in the backfield to get by for a three-game stretch.

The Saints signed former Lions running back Jamaal Williams to a three-year, $12 million deal in March after he led the NFL in touchdowns last season.

He should become New Orleans’ lead back for the early part of the season while playing behind a Saints offensive line that ranked in the bottom third of PFN’s most recent rankings.

New Orleans also selected former TCU running back Kendre Miller in the third round of April’s draft. Although he missed OTAs and began training camp on the non-football injury list, Miller returned to practice after passing a physical on July 24.

Miller projects as a power back like Williams, but he has garnered praise for his pass-catching ability during training camp. If the Saints want another receiver out of the backfield, they could keep Eno Benjamin on their 53-man roster while Kamara is suspended.

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