With Alvin Kamara on the naughty list for one more week and the plodding Jamaal Williams out with a hamstring injury, it’s finally Kendre Miller’s time to shine in the Saints backfield.
The rookie out of TCU will make his NFL debut on Sunday and play a significant role alongside Tony Jones Jr. Miller, who possesses a lethal three-down skill set, balled out in his final season as a Horned Frog and turned heads during camp. However, since late December, he’s been in and out of action with an MCL sprain, a knee patella sprain, and a hamstring issue.
Last year, Miller took over the starting gig at TCU and immediately impressed. He toted the rock 224 times for nearly 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns. Although he’s a bruiser and doesn’t shy away from contact, he posted an elite 119.9 elusive rating and produced an elite 3.64 YAC/att. In 2022, he also ranked 18th with 18 carries of 15-plus yards and forced 70 missed tackles.
Fast forward to training camp and preseason, Miller quickly caught the attention of his coaches and Saints writers from not only a physicality standpoint but also as a pass-catcher.
“Miller has been a standout performer throughout the summer. He’s flashed consistently in practices,” wrote Saints insider Nick Underhill.
Best of all, Miller is extremely confident, especially as a rookie.
“How they use [ Kamara] is kind of unique, and watching film every day, we watch a bunch of clips of him,” Miller said in May. “How they use him in the pass game, that’s pretty cool. I feel like I can step in and pretty much do the same thing.”
Well, he’ll get the chance on Sunday to prove he can do the same things as Kamara before he returns to the lineup from his three-game suspension. If he can make plays on Sunday, he could take over the bruiser role while Williams tends to his hammy injury, and never look back. Honestly, It shouldn’t be difficult for Miller to leapfrog Williams’ 2.7 YPC on 27 carries this season.
If you’ve been bitten by the injury bug, Miller is an enticing running back streamer ranked RB37 on The Wolf’s Week 3 Rankings. He’s also an intriguing stash for those with bench space. The rookie’s upside is real.