METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara will be full-go Sunday at the New York Jets after missing the past four weeks with knee and hamstring injuries.
Kamara practiced fully all week and had no injury designation on the team’s official status report Friday. Both he and Saints coach Sean Payton said he felt healthy enough to play in last Thursday night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, too. But Payton said, “I just didn’t want to set him back.”
“He said I was close?” said Kamara, who was listening in on Payton’s visit with the media Friday afternoon before speaking himself. “I mean, close as in I could’ve put my helmet on. I felt good. But I’m definitely healthy, I’m back healthy.
“But I think Sean played it right. I wasn’t mad at him for what he did. He was like, ‘I just think we need another week.’ I’m like, ‘Ahh. I kinda want to help us win.’ But it’s all good.”
Payton and Kamara both explained that it was actually the hamstring injury that had been bothering Kamara in recent weeks after he initially suffered a knee injury in Week 9. Kamara returned to practice on a limited basis in Week 11, but then he suffered what he described as a “little minor tweak” with the hamstring.
Kamara said he didn’t think it was related to the knee injury. He actually blamed the cleats he was wearing that day, which he has since discarded.
Obviously Kamara is crucial to the Saints’ offense at any time — but especially this week while backup RBs Mark Ingram II and Ty Montgomery are on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Saints (5-7) will also be without their receiving yardage leader, WR Deonte Harris, who began serving a three-game suspension. And backup WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
The Saints have lost five straight games in part because their offense has been so depleted by injuries. However, they also appear likely to get left tackle Terron Armstead back from a knee injury Sunday. Armstead had no injury designation on Friday’s report — even though he was limited in practice all week.
Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk (knee) was ruled out for the fourth straight week, however.
Linebackers Pete Werner (elbow) and Kaden Elliss (hamstring) were also ruled out. And defensive end Cameron Jordan‘s status is in doubt as he has been on the reserve/COVID-19 list since Monday.
On a positive note, DE Marcus Davenport is back from a shoulder injury. And safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson could return from the injured reserve list after practicing all week with his foot injury.