Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Saints’ Alvin Kamara likely available to start 2022 season; potential suspension could be delayed, per report

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Alvin Kamara is expected to face at least a six-game suspension stemming from his alleged involvement in a Las Vegas fight back in February. But the star Saints running back may not serve that suspension until 2023. With less than a month until New Orleans’ first regular-season game, Kamara is increasingly likely to be available to start 2022, according to ESPN. The Pro Bowler recently had a hearing for his battery case delayed until Sept. 29, and any NFL discipline would likely wait until said case is resolved.

“There’s a real chance,” Adam Schefter reported Monday, “that the status of that case is not going to affect his availability this season. He could be disciplined … But in terms of this season, it looks more and more unlikely.”

ESPN and ProFootballTalk had previously reported Kamara was expected to be suspended six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The 27-year-old running back is facing multiple charges, including a felony count of battery resulting in substantial bodily harm, after allegedly punching and injuring a man at a nightclub on the eve of the Pro Bowl.

The hearing related to the case has been delayed three different times this offseason. It’s possible it could still be resolved during the 2022 season, but the Saints are set to open their schedule on Sept. 11, before the hearing takes place.

When healthy, Kamara has recently been the centerpiece of the Saints’ offense. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year has topped 1,300 scrimmage yards in all five of his NFL seasons, and logged at least 80 catches in each of his first four seasons.

In the event he’s unavailable, the Saints’ top backup at running back is 32-year-old Mark Ingram II, who’s on his second stint with the team after spending much of the previous three seasons as a reserve with the Ravens and Texans.

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