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METAIRIE, La. — Sean Payton insisted this offseason that he didn’t want to simply double Alvin Kamara‘s workload and overload the New Orleans Saints running back during Mark Ingram‘s four-game suspension.

But then two things happened in Sunday’s 48-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints wound up having to play catch-up in a game that turned into a track meet. And, well, Kamara was so dynamic every time he touched the ball that it was impossible not to keep feeding him.

Kamara wound up with eight carries for 29 yards, nine catches for 112 yards, three touchdowns and a two-point conversion while playing a career-high 52 snaps.

It’s also worth noting that all four of Kamara’s scores came inside the 10-yard line (a 5-yard run, a 1-yard run, a 7-yard reception and the two-point run). So it’s not as if he was replaced by a “short-yardage” back to ease the pounding.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara averaged 8.3 yards per offensive touch and scored three TDs in Week 1. AP Photo/Butch Dill

“It felt good,” Kamara said Thursday with a wide grin. “I still feel good.”

Let’s be honest. As dazzling as Kamara was during his

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