The New Orleans Saints have optimism for the new NFL season, but they have been dealt a sizable blow to their playoff hopes.
Star running back Alvin Kamara has been suspended by the NFL for three games after he agreed to a plea agreement stemming from a fight he was involved in last year, according to Adam Schefter.
He was initially facing a felony charge, but the plea agreement eliminated that felony charge.
Sources: NFL is suspending Saints RB Alvin Kamara 3 games for his role in a fight outside a Las Vegas nightclub in 2022. Kamara reached a plea agreement in July, and no longer is facing a felony charge for his role in the fight that occurred before the Pro Bowl in February 2022. pic.twitter.com/tmEYhB7NnS
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 4, 2023
Kamara has been arguably the Saints’ top offensive weapon over the last few years, especially since wide receiver Michael Thomas has been riddled with injuries during that time.
Last year, Kamara ran for 897 yards and added 490 yards in the air while scoring a total of four touchdowns.
However, he failed to be named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his six-year pro career.
Luckily, the Saints made sure they would have a contingency plan by signing Jamaal Williams, a running back who tallied 1,066 rushing yards and a league-high 17 rushing touchdowns in 2022.
With veteran four-time Pro Bowler Derek Carr at quarterback and Thomas apparently healthy again, perhaps New Orleans can seriously challenge for a playoff spot this season, even without Kamara.
A saving grace for them may be the fact that their first three games will be relatively manageable — they will face the Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, and Green Bay Packers in that order.
Their overall schedule is fairly manageable, which means this could be the season they reach the postseason for the first time since the retirement of Drew Brees.NEXT: Saints Reportedly Agree To Contract Extension With Veteran Defender