When news came out that New Orleans Saints veteran RB Mark Ingram would be suspended for the first four games of the 2018 regular season, there are plenty members of WhoDat Nation that felt the Saints’ chances at replicating a successful running attack in 2018 were lost.
Well have no fear! Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara is primed and ready to shine in 2018. When Bleacher Report ranked all backfields in the NFL, it is the presence of Kamara that helped catapult the Saints to the #2 overall ranking:
Starter: Alvin Kamara
Depth: Mark Ingram II, Boston Scott, Daniel Lasco, Trey Edmunds
Fullback: Zach Line
Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II formed the NFL’s best backfield duo in 2017. The pair helped the Saints to the league’s fifth-ranked rushing attack (129.4 yards per game) and combined for a whopping 139 receptions and 1,242 receiving yards.
The Saints backfield may take a slight step back, as Ingram was handed a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Ingram appealed the suspension, but it was upheld in arbitration.
This means the Saints will be without their leading rusher from 2017 for a month. But Kamara has the talent needed to start in Ingram’s stead. The bad news is there isn’t much depth behind Kamara.
Daniel Lasco was primarily a special-teamer and had his season cut short by a spinal injury in 2017. Trey Edmunds is another special-teamer who had just nine carries last season. Boston Scott is a rookie sixth-rounder out of Louisiana Tech. Zach Line is a blocking fullback who had just seven carries and two receptions in 2017.
New Orleans should be fine as long as Kamara stays healthy over the first month. Statistically, the Saints backfield might not be what it was in 2017, but it should still be one of the best groups in the NFL.
While Bleacher Report states the Saints lack depth behind Kamara, that just isn’t true. Bleacher Report correctly lists Edmunds, Lasco and Scott as RBs on the Saints roster, but they also left out former Buffalo Bills RB Jonathan Williams.
Jonathan Williams vs. Detroit 8/31/17 pic.twitter.com/T121nqt7Bq— Bills TD A Day (@BillsTouchdown) May 22, 2018
Between Williams, Edmunds, Lasco and Scott, the Saints should be able to find at least someone who can take over to spell Ingram and Kamara in 2018.