In a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the New Orleans Saints rookie running back Kendre Miller left the field with a knee injury, potentially dealing another blow to the team’s already thinning depth. This news comes as a setback for the Saints, as they already have starting running back Alvin Kamara suspended for the first three games of the season due to a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
According to Saints coach Dennis Allen, Miller suffered a sprained knee and will undergo further testing. This injury is particularly concerning as it is to the same knee that Miller injured in the Fiesta Bowl back in December. That previous injury forced Miller to miss valuable playing time during training camp as he focused on rehabilitating during OTAs.
With Miller’s injury, the Saints find themselves in a precarious situation heading into the start of the season. If they do not sign another running back, they will be shorthanded in the running game. While Jamaal Williams is expected to start in place of Kamara during his suspension, Miller was likely to serve as his immediate backup. Without Miller, the team will have to rely on rookie Ellis Merriweather as their only other available running back, as converted wide receiver Kirk Merritt is also injured.
In the wake of Miller’s injury, the Saints hosted free agent running back Kareem Hunt for a visit last week. However, Hunt left without working out for the team and has since visited the Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings. As of now, Hunt has not signed with any team, leaving his future in the NFL uncertain.
In Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, Merriweather had the opportunity to showcase his abilities on the field. He carried the ball nine times for 24 yards and caught two passes for 17 yards, including a 2-yard reception that resulted in a touchdown in the closing minutes of the game. Saints coach Dennis Allen praised Merriweather’s physical running style and expressed confidence in his ability to contribute to the team. However, it remains to be seen if Merriweather can handle the workload as the primary backup to Williams in the absence of Miller.
The New Orleans Saints find themselves facing a significant blow to their running back depth with Kendre Miller’s knee injury. With Alvin Kamara already suspended, the team must now rely heavily on rookie Ellis Merriweather unless they sign another running back. The coming weeks will be crucial for the Saints as they navigate their running back situation and search for potential replacements.