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Kareem Hunt (left) could see work early in the season while Saints RB Alvin Kamara is suspended. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Kareem Hunt (left) could see work early in the season while Saints RB Alvin Kamara is suspended. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The New Orleans Saints are preparing for life without Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara. The team will reportedly sign running back Kareem Hunt just days after Kamara received a three-game suspension from the NFL, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.

Hunt, 28, spent the past four seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

The signing takes pressure off Jamaal Williams and rookie Kendre Miller, who were expected to fill in for Kamara during his suspension. Hunt has excelled as a complementary back the past couple seasons, pairing with Nick Chubb in Cleveland to create one of the league’s strongest backfields. He could work his way into a similar role with the Saints, especially when Kamara returns from suspension.

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Hunt played in 17 games with Cleveland last season. He rushed for 468 yards and three touchdowns on 123 attempts. Hunt also caught 35 passes for 210 yards and one receiving touchdown.

Kamara will miss the team’s first three games of the regular season after allegedly fighting a man at a Las Vegas nightclub during Pro Bowl weekend in 2022. Kamara met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, and was suspended two days later. Following that meeting with Goodell, Kamara said he made a “bad decision” and was “completely wrong” for his actions.

Kamara will be eligible to re-join the team for its Week 4 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 1. Kamara ran for 897 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns last season. He also gained 490 receiving yards and added two more scores through the air. Kamara will presumably start for the Saints once he’s reinstated. It’s unclear how the team will distribute touches to Hunt, Miller and Williams once Kamara is back.

Fantasy impact

Hunt’s addition muddies an already crowded backfield. Williams led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns last season, and signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Saints in the offseason, so his role seems safe barring an injury. He’ll likely start while Kamara is suspended.

Hunt has plenty of recent experience as a complementary piece and should presumably pair with Williams early on. Once Kamara returns, however, it’s unclear if, or how, the team will distribute carries between Hunt, Kamara and Williams. Kamara will likely start and get his normal workload. It’s a bigger question of how the team will utilize Hunt and Williams.

And then there’s Miller, who the team selected in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Hunt’s addition seemingly pushes Miller down an already crowded depth chart. It’s possible he impresses during preseason and secures some type of role in the offense. While that would be a positive for his long-term development, it would create even more chaos for fantasy managers. – Yahoo Fantasy staff

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