There’s a lot of potential in the New Orleans Saints’ “triplets,” a combination of their quarterback (Jameis Winston), their running back (Alvin Kamara), and their top wide receiver (Michael Thomas). But there are a lot of questions surrounding them, too, especially focused on their availability. Between injuries and looming suspensions it could take some time before all three players are on the field together playing their best football.
It’s enough to tank the Saints’ ranking among their peers, with CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin slotting them in at No. 17 — just below average around the league. Here’s what he wrote of the placement:
“Our last team to finish with a below-average ranking is one of the most confusing in the league. Winston was all high-risk, high-reward in Tampa, but was extremely low-risk, high-efficiency (on ridiculously low volume) prior to his injury last year. Will he be able to maintain that style without Sean Payton calling plays? That’s an open question. Will Kamara be suspended? Will Thomas get back on the field? If not, can Chris Olave be a No. 1 receiver right away?”
Those are all valid points. Winston and Thomas are still recovering from injuries, and Kamara’s availability is up in the air. We’re expecting him to be suspended for six games at some point in the season following an arrest in Las Vegas, but the legal process has been drawn out and it’s unclear exactly when it will be resolved, giving the NFL office the clearance it wants to choose whether to hand down a suspension.
You’d hope that Winston, Thomas, and Kamara are all on the field together at peak health for the season-opener in Atlanta. But that’s far from guaranteed, if not unlikely, given each player’s situation. At least New Orleans can lean on improved depth at wide receiver (having added Olave and Jarvis Landry), an upgrade at backup quarterback (going from Trevor Siemian to Andy Dalton), and more options in the backfield (between Mark Ingram II, Tony Jones Jr., Devine Ozigbo, and undrafted rookie Abram Smith).
A lot of things would have to go wrong for a repeat of last year’s disappointing offensive performance. Let’s hope better days are ahead, yeah?
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