Home Featured Teams New Orleans Saints Saints RB Latavius Murray Fills Alvin Kamara’s Void with Impactful Performance

Saints RB Latavius Murray Fills Alvin Kamara’s Void with Impactful Performance

Latavius Murray, Photo Credit: Michael C. Hebert, New Orleans Saints

Latavius Murray didn’t know he’d register a whopping 27 touches as the replacement to two-time Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara (ankle).

However, the first-year Saints running back was determined to make the most of his opportunities. Minus Drew Brees, Jared Cook and Kamara, it was a next man up mentality offensively for the Saints.

Murray certainly seized the moment. In the Saints’ 36-25 victory against the Bears, Murray rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints (6-1) extend their winning streak to five games and remain atop the NFC South standings heading into Sunday’s home contest vs. the Cardinals.

“I had no idea how many carries and touches. I just knew my load would increase with [Alvin Kamara] being down,” Murray said. “So I was prepared for whatever and just wanted to make sure that I executed when the ball was in my hands.”

The Saints acquired Murray from the Vikings in free agency. Behind Kamara, the veteran only tallied 32 carries the previous six games now. Yet, Murray stayed prepared and it paid off tremendously on Sunday.

“To be honest, I’ve been in similar situations before where you guys want to talk to me and when you don’t. It’s my seventh year so I understand that. So again, my part is doing my job when my number is called. It’s going to be times like this,” Murray said. “I know my role, and I know what I have to come in and do when guys go down. That’s a part of it. I just take the same mentality every week, ready to execute.”

Per NOLA.com, this was only the fifth 100-yard rushing game against the Bears’ defense dating back to the 2017 season. Murray also achieved the feat vs. the Bears in 2017 as a member of the Vikings.

Murray rushed for 89 of his yards and both of his rushing touchdowns in the second half on Sunday. Murray scored on a 3-yarder in the third quarter and a 4-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Throughout the contest, Murray demonstrated superb cutback ability, which requires an innate sense of football IQ.

“I just read it out. My eyes take me and my feet follow. I can’t say there’s something I’m doing before I read it. Every play is different,” Murray said. “You have to have vision, your eyes will see it and you make sure your feet follow.”

Saints coach Sean Payton gave a glowing assessment of Murray afterwards.

“He’s got speed, and so he had a handful of those cuts today that he saw a hole, he felt something — and I thought he ran with power, but he also ran with speed,” Payton said.

The Saints only led 12-10 at halftime but used a 24-0 second half run to break the game open .

“I think this is one of my favorite wins in my career,” Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead said. “Just the circumstances, the way the game played out, the energy, the way we went out and won — it was a fun game, a hard-fought game.”

Murray’s workhorse display provided the fuel for the Saints to counter the physicality of a Bears defense that entered fifth in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (83).

“I think it was a physical game. I think we knew we wanted to establish an identify up front, and they did that creating a line of scrimmage and moving the line of scrimmage,” Murray said. “I’m a big guy, so I just try to make sure I’m doing my part.”

To get the latest updates, watch Saints Gameday featuring live pregame coverage with analysis, interviews and feature reports. This week watch Saints Gameday on CST – Sunday, Oct. 27 at 10:30am CT (check local listings for channel information).