Saints head coach Sean Payton and running backs coach Joel Thomas both said they don't want to drastically increase Kamara's workload while Mark Ingram is suspended for the first four games of the season, NFL.com's Herbie Teope reports. "I think it would be a disservice to him," Thomas said. "Let's be honest here -- he's excelled with the ratio he's had, whether it's the carries or the combination with the catches, as well. It's almost a number that you want to get to that he's still getting the touches that he's had in the past. But maybe they occur through two, three or four more carries, and two or three less receptions."
While it would make sense to use their other running backs to absorb part of Ingram's rushing workload, Kamara nonetheless figures to notice some type of uptick -- at least temporarily -- from last year's average of 12.6 touches per game (7.5 carries, 5.1 catches). The team already upped Kamara's workload a bit at the end of last season, giving him between nine and 12 carries in Weeks 15-17 and both playoff games. It won't come as any surprise if he pushes for around 15-to-20 touches per game while Ingram is out of the lineup. Trey Edmunds, Boston Scott, Jonathan Williams and Daniel Lasco (neck) figure to compete for a role alongside Kamara for Weeks 1-4, unless the Saints add a veteran to fill the void.
Kamara averaged only 7.5 carries per game during his rookie campaign, but that may increase substantially early in the 2018 season with Ingram out of the picture. Coach Sean Payton generally prefers to split the backfield duties, so it wouldn't be surprising if signee Jonathan Williams, rookie Boston Scott or second-year back Trey Edmunds sees a jump in snaps as well. With Ingram's contract expiring after 2018, we may get an early glimpse at the future of the Saints' backfield.
Kamara rushed 11 times for 43 yards while catching four of seven targets for 62 yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 29-24 NFC divisional-round loss to the Vikings.
Both Kamara -- who averaged 6.1 yards per carry during the regular season -- and backfield counterpart Mark Ingram were stifled by the Vikings' stout run defense. However, as we experienced on multiple occasions throughout his rookie campaign, Kamara salvaged his fantasy line with a strong showing in the passing game, where his 14-yard touchdown grab gave New Orleans its first lead of the game with just three minutes left in regulation. The Tennessee product and Rookie of the Year candidate will now enter his first full NFL offseason training program with his team out of postseason contention and, especially since the Saints are returning all key offensive cogs in 2018, should indisputably be in the first-round conversation in advance of 2018 fantasy drafts after averaging the most yards per touch in NFL history as a rookie.
Kamara finished with 10 rushes for 23 yards and a touchdown, and caught one of three targets for 10 yards in Sunday's 31-26 NFC wild-card win over the Panthers.
Kamara was bottled up by Carolina's stout defense, accounting for the lowest yardage of any game he completed this season. Although the rookie's playoff debut didn't go according to script, he still managed to make a significant impact via a two-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter. That score ultimately proved to be the difference in Sunday's tilt, allowing the Saints to advance to the divisional round next weekend, when they'll travel to play the Vikings.
Kamara rushed nine times for 44 yards and a touchdown, brought in six of seven targets for 84 yards and netted 155 yards and a touchdown on four kickoff returns in Sunday's 31-24 loss to the Buccaneers.
The explosive rookie was at it again in the regular-season finale, displaying his eye-popping all-around skill set in all three phases. Kamara got his afternoon started with a 106-yard touchdown on the kickoff following the Buccaneers' opening-possession touchdown, a nifty return in which he feigned taking a knee near the front of the end zone before bursting upfield and outrunning everyone to pay dirt. He followed up with a seven-yard rushing score later in the period, his first touchdown on the ground since Week 13. Kamara also closed out the regular season by posting at least six receptions in each of the last three contests, and his diverse talents will undoubtedly be pivotal to the Saints enjoying a successful playoff run. He'll look to get the second season off to a strong start when New Orleans faces off with the Carolina Panthers -- a team that he racked up three touchdowns against in 2017 over two games -- next Sunday afternoon in an NFC wild-card home showdown.
|2017||New Orleans Saints||16||3||120||728||6.1||74||8||5||40|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||16||3||81||826||10.2||40||5||11||1||38|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||16||11||347||31.5||106||1||2|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||16||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|