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Running back Alvin Kamara excited to make season debut Sunday for New Orleans Saints

'There are some things that I do that opens up our offense a little bit more, for everybody not just for me'


Alvin Kamara wasn't much of a fan, he admits.

At times he was analytical and approached from a player's perspective and at times, he got caught up in his fandom and did a little second-guessing.

"I felt like a fan a little bit," he said Wednesday in his first press conference since returning from a three-game suspension. "I had to come back to the reality of a player."

The reality now is that the New Orleans Saints' star running back no longer has to view his teams' games as a spectator sport. His suspension ended after Sunday's 18-17 loss to Green Bay, and Kamara returned to the practice field Wednesday for the first time since training camp and preseason.

The Saints (2-1) will face Tampa Bay (2-1) on Sunday in the Caesars Superdome.

"It's weird not playing, so obviously it feels good to be back out there with teammates, feels good to be back out there running, moving around," Kamara said. "Finally get to play a game, so it'll be good."

Kamara, whose 72 career touchdowns is tied for most in franchise history, said he returned to his training ground in Miami to stay in shape.

"Kind of treated it like an abbreviated, less taxing offseason," he said. "Just kind of kept my same routine, tried not to overdo it, being anxious and wanting to play. It went well."

"He looked good," Coach Dennis Allen said Wednesday. "He's in shape, looked explosive today. It's good to have him back out there, so we're excited to have him."

Kamara will rejoin a struggling offense (17.7 points per game, 25th in the league) that hasn't run the ball well (93.3 yards per game, 21st in the league).

"It's frustrating (whether I'm) out there or not, because with the weapons we have you feel like you know the potential we've got," he said. "Sometimes when you see it not come to fruition, it's annoying.

"But it's a lot of things – it's player error, everybody wants to blame coaches but some things we've got to execute better, some things we've got to pull out. But it'll be good, we'll be all right, get on track."

Kamara also will rejoin an offense that could be without starting quarterback Derek Carr, who sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder on Sunday against Green Bay. That, and the absence of running back Jamaal Williams (on injured reserve with a hamstring injury), could mean a heavier workload for the fresh-legged Kamara.

"I've had the same message for seven years: Whatever I've got to do, I'm going to do it," he said. "So if that's in the game plan, if that's in the cards, so be it. But we've got tons of weapons.

"We've got guys that can get the ball and make something happen. Whoever plays – if Jameis is out there, if Derek is out there, whatever the case may be – I've got faith that we'll be able to get it done."

But Kamara said he's excited to be making his season debut.

"There are some things that I do that opens up our offense a little bit more, for everybody not just for me," he said. "For (receivers) Mike (Thomas), for Chris (Olave), Rashid (Shaheed). So I'm excited to get back out there and kind of get some of those opportunities going for everybody."

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