Kendre Miller Injury Update: Latest on New Orleans Saints’ RB

Just days away from the start of the 2023 regular season, Kendre Miller popped up on the injury list. What is the latest on the Saints running back?

In the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints invested in their future at running back when they selected TCU’s Kendre Miller. With a looming suspension hanging over Alvin Kamara, the rookie had a chance to make an early impact in his new home.

After Kamara’s suspension was announced, all signs pointed to Miller getting an opportunity to impress in his rookie year. But days away from the regular season, he has popped up on the injury report.

What is the latest on Miller and what implications does it have for the Saints and fantasy football managers?

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What Happened to Kendre Miller?

Miller has had an interesting camp season. When he has been healthy, he has shown why the Saints were interested in him in the draft.

In Week 2 of the preseason, the TCU standout tallied 23 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. He added another 36 yards on three catches.

But he also was dealing with a knee sprain mid-way through August that had him miss some practice time. The knee sprain ended up minor, and the runner was back on the field the next week for the second preseason game.

Just a week before the NFL kickoff next Thursday, reports have surfaced that Miller is dealing with a hamstring injury. The news came out of the blue on Thursday afternoon and left the Saints a bit short in the running back room.

Hamstring injuries can sideline players for multiple weeks and are one of the most common to be re-aggravated throughout the season. The type of injury is rough and the timing is just adding salt to the wound. This poses some challenges for the Saints and their rookie draft pick.

What Are the Saints’ Options If Miller Misses Time?

If Miller can’t go in Week 1 (which is a question mark right now), the Saints are getting very thin at RB. With Alvin Kamara out for the first three weeks with a suspension, the Saints RB room only has Miller, Jamaal Williams, and Kirk Merritt (who was a practice squad member for the majority of 2022).

With Miller potentially missing time, the Saints would need to rely heavily on Williams to be their every down back with the current room. Williams had a very impressive 2022 in Detroit with 1,066 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. He is more than capable of giving the Saints good carries and keeping the ground game going before Kamara or the rookie can return.

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But the team’s depth is an issue. If something were to happen to Williams as well, the team would be in a very tough spot. I would expect if the rookie is going to miss week one that we will see some type of signing by the team. They simply can’t afford to go into week one against a strong Titans run defense with only Williams to trust.

The only other option I could foresee is if the team decided to move Taysom Hill into a flex-RB type of role. The quarterback turned wide receiver turned tight end has done everything else for the Saints offense since he entered the league six years ago. With over 1,750 rushing yards to his name, he could be an emergency running back in a pinch.

What Does This Mean For Miller’s Fantasy Ranking?

When the knee sprain occurred in mid-August, it was easy to call it a minor injury. But this hamstring injury is popping up at a terrible time for fantasy managers.

In redraft leagues, Miller is a back who is moving down my list considerably. One of the biggest advantages to him was the possibility of impressing when Kamara was out the first three weeks of the season. With the news of the hamstring injury, it’s possible that he could not see any action before Kamara returns.

If Miller tries to find carries in a backfield with Kamara and Williams both active, it will be difficult in 2023. Add to this that the hamstring could keep him from being 100%, and he is someone I don’t trust to be able to produce this season.

MORE: PFN Consensus Rankings

From a dynasty perspective, I still like the talent of Miller and his chances to get opportunities long-term. Kamara and Williams are 28 years old, and Miller is a rookie. He has an opportunity to be the heir apparent to both these backs. We may not see a ton of that production this season.

As an option, you may want to consider putting Miller in your taxi squad if you have one in your dynasty leagues. Miller is dealing with the hamstring injury and has a crowded backfield he is competing with. The chances of production are low for 2023, so you could clear a bench spot for your team while you wait for his breakout.

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