After his last season it’s easy to lose optimism in what the 2020 season holds for Alvin Kamara. The decline in touchdowns from 18 to 6 as a result of decreased red zone usage is tough to ignore and has left us all with many questions regarding the 2020 season. If you’re more of the reactionary type or one of the many fantasy owners using trades to get your fix while we wait patiently for football to return, then let me help clear things up for you before you make a huge mistake.
In 2012 he had a knee injury that required surgery while at Alabama and was redshirted. Since then he has missed a total of only 4 games due to injury in college and NFL combined. In all of these cases he has been able to return to play quickly without any long term impact through his commitment to dynamic workout that focuses on proprioception, strength, and stability. All of which allow him to be the elusive back that can avoid major hits and break tackles at a high percentage while decreasing durability issues.
Kamara is approaching the final season of his rookie contract. He is undoubtedly deserving of top pay in a league that has awarded its top running backs recently. His reaction to McCaffrey’s huge extension was priceless in itself, but unfortunately their last season performances were incomparable. However, Kamara’s response should be the main focus as he responded, “I just play football. I’m just a football guy. I don’t worry with all these contracts and all these things, all this money.” Unsurprising from a humble player and person who seems to get the most out of life on and off the field. Combine this with the recent CBA changes, and it’s highly unlikely we see a Kamara holdout.
The Saints Offense
Injury aside, several factors played into Kamara’s decline last year. An injured Brees left the well oiled machine that is the Saints offense sputtering. New Orleans was less efficient during the 5 games that Teddy Bridgewater filled in for Brees. When Brees was playing he tried his best to help Michael Thomas go for the single season reception record, as well as fit Taysom Hill into the mix with new schemes in the red zone. Despite this Kamara still had his annual 81 receptions and averaged 4.7 yds per carry for 797 yards on 171 attempts. Not the top tier performance we’re used to, but he still finished as RB9 while performing at less than 100 percent.
The simple answer to all this is that high ankle sprains take time to heal which is why they can be so detrimental to an athlete. Kamara himself has reported that he was at 75% and now confirms that he is back to 100%. He will continue to play a big role in the run and pass game with the most obvious change being a positive regression in touchdowns. Although he is still going in the first round there is still much doubt in the air that is causing him to fall late into the first round in some drafts. Take advantage of the slide this year and trade for higher value when even more question marks arise around what the Saints will look like next year.