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Saints rookie RB Kendre Miller expected to make season debut Sunday: 'It just feels good to be back'

New Orleans Saints running back Kendre Miller is expected to make his season debut Sunday against the Green Bay Packers after missing the first two weeks due to a hamstring injury.

"I'm very excited, just getting back into football shape and working so hard to get back," Miller said, via the team's official website. "It just feels good to be back.

"You know, it's been hard, most definitely, because preseason, I had a little knee issue, and then right when we were about to get started for real, I had the hamstring. But it feels good to be back."

The third-round pick flashed ability during preseason action after rushing for 1,399 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final season at TCU.

Miller's return benefits the 2-0 Saints, as Alvin Kamara finishes the last leg of a three-game suspension, and Jamaal Williams is expected to miss time after suffering a hamstring injury in their Week 2 win over Carolina.

Miller is expected to share carries with Tony Jones Jr. on Sunday in Green Bay.

At 6-foot, 220 pounds, Miller brings a punishing running ability to the Saints backfield with surprising agility on the second level for a back of his size. The strength to carry defenders for extra yardage will be welcome in New Orleans.

"I just want to see that violence that I know that he has, that he runs with," quarterback Derek Carr said. "I just can't wait to see him put that on full display.

"When you're a rookie running back people are coming to find you, so hopefully, he tries to go find them. And keep that mindset, keep that confidence. Hopefully if he's out there, and he gets to play, that's what I would be looking forward to. To see what he does on a game day -- not just a preseason game, but a real regular season game -- will be real interesting to watch."

Pass protection will be critical if Miller is to quickly see his role increase in his first start and beyond.

The backfield has struggled to find traction in the first two games of Kamara's suspension. The Saints have not had a running back rush for 50-plus yards in a game in 2023 -- QB/TE/do-it-all Taysom Hill led the way with 75 rush yards on nine carries in Week 2.

Jones Jr. will likely see the first reps Sunday in Lambeau, but given the lack of production through two games, Miller will get a chance to make his mark against a Packers defense that has allowed the third-most rush yards through two weeks and owns the second-worst EPA per rush allowed, per Next Gen Stats.

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