We are now entering the third week of the 2022 NFL season. Daily practice reports are becoming longer and longer as injury updates pour in. Alvin Kamara missed last week’s game due to a rib injury. What is the latest on Kamara’s status, and can fantasy football managers count on him to return to action this Sunday?
Alvin Kamara injury update
Injuries are, by far, the worst part of fantasy football. Much like 16-year-old me playing Madden, I wish we could just turn them off. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work that way. There are far too many fantasy-relevant players whose injury status is up in the air heading into Week 3. Alvin Kamara is among them.
Kamara’s Week 1 usage was curious at the time. He played just 62% of the snaps and saw a mere 13 opportunities. It seemed strange, but we later found out Kamara was playing through the rib injury that ultimately cost him Week 2.
Alvin Kamara returned to practice on Wednesday
Over the past several years, Wednesday practice reports have become somewhat meaningless, as veterans frequently get the day off. If any player is even slightly banged up, coaches will hold him out, especially later in the season.
Kamara was limited at Wednesday’s practice, but the fact that he practiced at all on a Wednesday is extremely encouraging.
The Saints struggled offensively last week against the Bucs
I’m not going to sit here and pretend like the absence of a typical running back has a massive impact on an offense’s performance. At the same time, Kamara isn’t your typical running back. His involvement in the passing game is essential to the Saints’ offensive game plan.
Mark Ingram ran well filling in for Kamara, ripping off 60 yards on ten carries. Even Dwayne Washington and Tony Jones Jr. combined for a respectable 26 yards on six attempts. However, the Saints were only able to muster up 10 points on 308 total yards of offense.
Will Alvin Kamara return this Sunday?
Rib injuries are notoriously tricky. It often comes down to pain tolerance.
Kamara is reportedly dealing with the same injury that befell Justin Herbert last week. On the one hand, it’s easier for Kamara to deal with it since he doesn’t have to torque his body to throw a football. On the other hand, it’s more difficult for Kamara to deal with it because he’s getting hit significantly more than a quarterback.
With a rib injury, Kamara should have no issue getting in limited practices all week. I expect him to remain limited on Thursday and Friday and ultimately be listed as questionable on the final injury report.
Last Sunday morning, ahead of Week 2, neworleans.football’s Nick Underhill tweeted out, “no, [I] doubt Kamara plays. Injury isn’t super serious but sounds like something where backing off a little now will ensure it’s not a larger issue later.” Underhill is one of the most dialed-in beat reporters in the nation. It sounds to me like his assessment was spot on.
In Week 2, there was no incentive to push Kamara to play hurt. The Saints chose to play it safe and, as a result, I tentatively expect Kamara to return this week against the Panthers.