METAIRIE — The New Orleans Saints will have their most potent weapon back when they host the New York Jets at noon Sunday in the Superdome.
Running back Alvin Kamara, who is the first NFL rookie since 1980 to have 600 yards or more rushing and receiving, practiced fully on Wednesday afternoon after suffering a concussion in the first series of the Saints' 20-17 loss at Atlanta.
"I'm going to be in there," he said while exiting the Saints locker room after practice. "I'm good to go."
The Saints offense suffered without Kamara at Atlanta. He caught three passes for 25 yards with a 23-yard reception and rushed once for a 2-yard gain, which was the play in which he was injured.
"A lot of different guys go down. That became challenging," Saints coach Sean Payton said after the Atlanta loss on Thursday, Dec. 7.
The Saints (9-4) and Jets (5-8) kick off at noon Sunday. New Orleans is tied with Carolina for the NFC South lead with Atlanta one game back at 8-5 with three games to play. The Saints also trail two other NFC division leaders for playoff seeding as Philadelphia is 11-2 and Minnesota is 10-3.
Kamara, a rookie of the year favorite, is second on the Saints in rushing with 87 carries for 608 yards and seven touchdowns and second in receiving with 62 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns. The last NFL rookie to put up 600 in those categories was Detroit running back Billy Sims in 1980. The only other NFL rookie to do that was Washington wide receiver Charley Taylor in 1964.
Kamara was selected in the third round out of Tennessee in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“Look, if we had known what we were going to get as a runner, we wouldn't have taken him in the third round,” Payton said going into the Falcons game. "We would've taken him earlier."
Two other Saints injured in the Falcons game practiced Wednesday and will likely play Sunday — starting strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (groin) and left guard Senio Kelemete (concussion).
Vaccaro practiced on a limited basis. Kelemete, who started at left guard at Atlanta for injured regular starter Andrus Peat, practiced fully after also suffering a concussion at Atlanta. Peat (groin) practiced on a limited basis Wednesday after missing all of the Atlanta game.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas (eye) practiced full Wednesday. Tight end Josh Hill (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis.
Wide receiver Ted Ginn, who suffered a rib injury at Atlanta, did not practice Wednesday. Neither did defensive end Trey Hendrickson (ankle) and linebacker A.J. Klein (groin), who also were hurt at Atlanta.
The Jets also have a lengthy injury report. In addition to losing veteran starting quarterback Josh McCown for the season over the weekend to a broken hand, former LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne of Shreveport did not practice Wednesday with a foot injury. Third-year pro Bryce Petty will start in McCown's place.