The Saints lost a heartbreaker in Atlanta a week ago, and had to play much of the contest without their rookie sensation.
That won't be the case in Week 15. Alvin Kamara (concussion) is expected to play on Sunday, Saints coach Sean Payton said on Thursday.
Kamara said on Monday he expected to be good to go, but with Payton making an almost identical statement three days later, it's all but guaranteed. That's great news for the Saints, who rely on Kamara to balance its offensive attack in both the running and passing games. Without Kamara, New Orleans managed to rush for a mere 50 yards on 15 attempts (3.3 yards per carry) and lacked a weapon out of the backfield that has taken the Saints from division hopeful to Super Bowl contender.
Ensnared in a tie atop the NFC South with Atlanta trailing by just one game, the Saints can't afford to come up short again in the final three weeks. The return of Kamara will significantly boost their chances.
Here are the other injuries we've been tracking on this Thursday in Week 15:
- Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemiansuffered a left shoulder sprain during the first quarter of Thursday's 25-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts, and he didn't return to the game. Siemian, who underwent surgery on the non-throwing shoulder in January, was carted off to the locker room after being examined by medical trainers of the sideline. Brock Osweiler played the rest of the game. Broncos coach Vance Joseph said he didn't have a timeline on how long Siemian might be out.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was ruled out after suffering an ankle injury during the second half. Tight end Virgil Green suffered a neck injury in the second half and didn't return.
- Indianapolis Colts tight end Brandon Williams was taken to the hospital for evaluation after suffering a concussion during the second quarter of Thursday's loss. He was strapped to a backboard and carted off the field before being transported to the hospital via ambulance. Williams returned to Lucas Oil Stadium and in the trainers' room after the game, coach Chuck Pagano said.
Indy inside linebacker Jeremiah George suffered a neck injury during the game and didn't return. Right tackle Denzelle Good also was ruled out early because of a knee injury.
Colts owner Jim Irsay told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that all signs are pointing toward quarterback Andrew Luck returning next season. He said the team hasn't found anything "ominous" going on with Luck's shoulder injury, which derailed his 2017 campaign. Irsay also said Luck will not undergo additional surgery.
- Aaron Rodgers, who was medically cleared on Tuesday evening, looked good on Wednesday, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday morning.
- The New York Giants are shutting down guard Justin Pugh (back) for the remainder of the season, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo announced Thursday. Safety Landon Collins (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, Spagnuolo added.
- The Detroit Lions will be without guard Rick Wagner (ankle) and center Travis Swanson (concussion) in the Lions' game against the Chicago Bears, according to the team's Thursday injury report. Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (ankle), tackle Emmett Cleary (ankle) and guard T.J. Lang (foot) are questionable, leaving the potential for Detroit to take the field on Sunday without three-fifths of its starting line.
- Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance Joseph (shoulder) and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (shoulder) didn't practice. Cornerback Joe Haden (leg) and wide receiverJuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring) were limited.
- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who is on injured reserve, underwent surgery on his left knee and right ankle Thursday.
- As anticipated, Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (neck) did not practice. Coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday that he didn't know if Peterson would play again this season.
- Seattle Seahawks tight endJimmy Graham (ankle), linebackerBobby Wagner (hamstring), defensive end Michael Bennett (knee) and linebacker K.J. Wright (concussion) didn't practice.