Are the Saints healthy? What’s up with Alvin Kamara? Big takeaways from Tuesday’s comments

Are the Saints healthy? What's up with Alvin Kamara? Big takeaways from Tuesday's comments
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General manager Mickey Loomis and coach Dennis Allen have said their piece, and that means nothing else stands between the New Orleans Saints and the start of training camp.

The Saints will hold their first full practice of the season Wednesday morning at their Airline Drive training facility, and they’re expecting everyone to be on hand as a participant.

Between them, Loomis and Allen held court with local reporters for about 45 minutes Tuesday. Here were the main takeaways from their comments.

All aboard

Though there is still technically room for a last-minute surprise — player physicals were happening as Allen spoke — the Saints anticipate a 100% participation rate for the first day of training camp.

Considering what the team has been through in recent years on the injury front, that is no small feat. But it feels especially noteworthy because the Saints had several players whose availability was not a 100% guarantee coming into the week.

Michael Thomas said last month that he’d be good to go, but it is still noteworthy to hear Allen say he expects Thomas to be a full participant for Day One of training camp. If the Saints finally can get him back on the field, they potentially stand to reap a huge reward.

“I feel really good about where Mike’s at physically,” Loomis said. “I know where he’s always been at in terms of his ability and his competitiveness and his desire to be out there, that’s never been in question. It’s just can we get over these injuries and can we get his health back to the point where he can do what Mike does? That’s where he’s at right now. We’ll find out in the next few weeks.”

And a 100% participation rate also means the team is optimistic about offensive linemen Trevor Penning and Cesar Ruiz being on the practice field Wednesday. Both of them went down late last season with Lisfranc injuries, and both required long offseason rehabilitations.

Regarding Penning, who was limited to just six games last year, Allen said, “He’s worked his tail off this offseason to get healthy, and that’s where he’s at right now. There’s a significant portion of time lost, and we don’t get a chance to get those reps back, but I like where he’s at right now.

“Look, the thing he needs is to get out there on the practice field and get reps. That’ll be a process we go through throughout training camp.”

A change to the process?

Injuries have been a dominant storyline for each of the last two seasons, and they formed a bit of an undercurrent for both Loomis and Allen’s comments Tuesday.

Loomis said the team felt like it made some progress in that area last year, specifically when it came to avoiding the somewhat preventable soft-tissue injuries — things such as sprains and muscle strains.

But New Orleans still went through a load of injuries last season, including a spate of odd injuries like the dislocated toes suffered by both Thomas and Penning. When asked about what he learned from his first season as head coach, Allen specifically brought up the injuries and the ways the team might try to abate them.

“We looked at a ton of injury data, so we’ve kind of changed the practice — not the individual practice schedule, but just days in which we practice, how many days in a row do we go?” Allen said. “Some of those sorts of things. We’ve looked at a lot of different things to try to make the best decisions we can that I think are going to help our football team.”

Nothing concrete on Kamara

Earlier this month, Saints running back Alvin Kamara finally resolved the legal question that has hung over him since he was involved in an altercation in February 2022 outside a Las Vegas nightclub.

Now the team is playing a waiting game. Kamara is likely facing some sort of discipline from the NFL, but the Saints have no idea how long it may be or when it may come down.

“It’s hard for me to say,” Allen said. “I don’t know that. I’m not going to get into what could or couldn’t happen. We’re expecting to have Alvin this year; Alvin is going to be a big part of what we do. We’re going to practice accordingly.

“We haven’t heard anything from the league at all, so it’s something that’s out of our control and we’re not going to focus on that.”

Loomis added that the NFL doesn’t adhere to a strict timeline when it comes down to administering its suspensions.

Bonus takeaway: A comfortable Carr

It felt somewhat revealing that so little time was spent discussing the biggest free agent signing in team history.

Some of that surely had to do with the Saints announcing the newsy signings of Jimmy Graham and Trai Turner on Tuesday morning — topics that dominated the press conference. But the head coach and general manager spent very little time discussing their new quarterback, Derek Carr.

Loomis and Allen fielded one Carr specific question each. There just didn’t seem to be much to say on the topic at the moment, which is a good thing at this stage of the season.

“There’s comfort in having someone who’s been out there and performed,” Loomis said. ”It does make you more confident. We like what we’ve seen, we all like what we’ve seen this offseason from Derek — and from Jameis (Winston), for that matter.

“It feels a little more settled, but we’ve got some work to do here.”

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About Marc Lemoine 1340 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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