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Game recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26, New Orleans Saints 9 | 2023 NFL Week 4

Derek Carr, Alvin Kamara return to action but offense still struggles

Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season.

Quarterback Derek Carr and running back Alvin Kamara returned to field for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday but it wasn't enough to jump-start an offense that struggled in a 26-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Caesars Superdome.

The loss, the Saints' second consecutive, dropped them to 2-2. Tampa Bay is the early leader in the NFC South at 3-1.

Kamara got plenty of touches in his first game back from a three-game suspension as he carried 11 times for 51 yards and caught 13 passes for 33 yards, but was kept out of the end zone. Carr, who injured the AC joint in his right shoulder in last week's loss to Green Bay and didn't practice until Friday, was 23 of 37 for 127 yards, with few deep connections. Saints star receiver Chris Olave was held to one catch for four yards while veteran Michael Thomas had four receptions for 53 yards.

Rookie kicker Blake Grupe scored all of New Orleans' points on field goals of 37, 32 and 44 yards. The Saints had just 197 yards of offense, gave up three sacks and were just five of 14 on third down.

Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield threw three touchdown passes and was 25 of 32 for 246 yards. He also scrambled five times for 34 yards helping to extend several drives. Receiver Chris Godwin had eight catches for 114 yards.

The Saints lost several players to injury Sunday: tight end Juwan Johnson left during the first possession with a calf injury, defensive back Lonnie Johnson Jr. left with a hamstring injury and left guard Andrus Peat was knocked out with a concussion. The Saints entered the game without right guard Cesar Ruiz, who is trying to recover from a concussion. Tampa lost star receiver Mike Evans to a hamstring injury.

The Saints will play at the New England Patriots on Sunday, Oct. 8.

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