Alvin Kamara was cleared to return to the New Orleans Saints practice facility Monday after serving his three-game suspension, and he should bring a big boost to an offense that has struggled without him.
But he must be used correctly upon his arrival. The current state of the offensive line demands it. The unit has been terrible in pass protection, and it led to Derek Carr getting injured on a sack. Outside of the game against the Carolina Panthers, the run blocking hasn’t been great either. That’s where Kamara’s usage comes into play.
If Kamara comes in and is just a runner going up between the tackles, the Saints will be wasting his talent for another year. That was a problem last season. Kamara’s receiving ability was a focal point in training camp. He lined up at receiver and caught passes out of the backfield frequently. Running backs caught five passes this weekend after catching only two in the two previous games. It’s imperative that continues with Kamara’s return.
This attribute has the ability to mitigate poor blocking with quick passes, and Kamara will provide a quick outlet. The only obstacle is that Jameis Winston and Kamara haven’t had the best connection in the past — after catching at least 81 passes in each of his first four seasons, Kamara has totaled 47 and 57 receptions in the last two years. Those kinks need to be worked out, because the state of the offensive line may make Kamara the Saints’ most valuable weapon.