NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Nearly a month after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a 2022 nightclub fight, Saints star Alvin Kamara has been suspended three games to start the 2023 season. The news comes hours after Kamara publicly addressed his off-field actions, admitting he "was completely wrong" and used "poor judgment" in the incident that led to his arrest.

"It's a tough ordeal to be in," Kamara told reporters earlier. "I never wanna be involved in something where someone gets hurt or severely injured or anything. Poor judgment on my end. Definitely a bad decision. But I'm a man. Everything I've ever done in my life, I've stood on and I can take accountability for and I can say when I'm wrong. And I was completely wrong. I embarrassed the Saints, embarrassed my family, my mother, embarrassed myself, embarrassed the city and ... obviously embarrassed the NFL."

The inciting incident occurred on the eve of the 2022 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas, where Kamara had an alleged altercation with a man inside a hotel and casino. Court dates related to the incident were repeatedly delayed, enabling the running back to play the entire 2022 season without facing NFL discipline. After pleading no contest, a felony charge of battery was dismissed against Kamara, though former All-Pro was long expected to be suspended multiple games this fall.

"We had a good meeting," Kamara said of recent discussions with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "It went well."

The veteran, who reportedly agreed to pay $100,000 in medical bills to the alleged victim, will be replaced in the lineup by former Packers and Lions reserve Jamaal Williams, who signed with the team this spring. Williams is fresh off a career-high 1,006 rushing yards in Detroit. Third-round rookie Kendre Miller could also see a sizable role to open the season.

Kamara will be eligible to return Week 4 against the Buccaneers after missing games against the Titans, Panthers and Packers.  

Kamara added Friday that he's grateful to have completed the legal process.

"I know what I did, I know what I was involved in," he said. "From here, I just gotta make the right decisions and make the right. ... I'd be lying if (I said) it hasn't affected me. It affected me every day. I lost monetary (value), I lost some friends, I lost some support from some people. But I've had a ton of support from this organization, and the people that know me and know what I'm about. I'm not glossing over the situation and downplaying it in any way. I gotta take ownership of it. ... It (was) self-inflicted, but it's still a dark cloud. I felt better (returning to work now), like a weight (is) off me."

The league also suspended Colts cornerback Chris Lammons three games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Lammons was also involved in the Las Vegas incident with Kamara.