METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints star running back Alvin Kamara and Colts defensive back Chris Lammons each have been suspended for three regular-season games by the NFL because of their involvement in a February 2022 fight in Las Vegas.
The NFL released its decision on Friday, two days after Kamara was excused from training camp to meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Kamara and Lammons pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges last month in a deal with prosecutors in Las Vegas that avoided trial and potential jail time.
Kamara has been one of New Orleans’ most productive players as a rusher and receiver since being named offensive rookie of the year for the 2017 season.
Speaking after practice Friday, but before the suspension had been announced, Kamara was contrite and expressed a desire to make wiser decisions going forward.
“I never want to be involved in something where someone gets hurt or severely injured or anything. Poor judgment on my end, definitely a bad decision,” Kamara said. “I was completely wrong, embarrassed the Saints, embarrassed my family, my mother. Embarrassed myself.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tough,” Kamara continued. “I’ve lost a lot throughout this ordeal. I’m definitely not looking for any pity and not looking for somebody to give me a pat on the back and say, ‘It’s OK.’ I know what I did. … And I definitely take responsibility. That’s part of being a man and growing. From here, I just got to make the right decisions and make the right choices.”
Noting that he was out at 5 a.m. when the fight occurred on the eve of that season’s Pro Bowl, Kamara said he’d begun making a series of unwise choices well before the altercation and would have been better served by following former NFL coach Tony Dungy’s advice to players that they not to stay out past midnight.
Kamara thanked Goodell for meeting with him on Thursday and said his visit went well.
“I think we got accomplished what we needed to get accomplished,” he said. “Happy I got a chance to do that.”
But Kamara declined to go into detail about what he discussed with the commissioner. Goodell has not commented on the meeting and NFL communications staff also have declined to comment.
Kamara played throughout the 2022 season while the NFL waited for a resolution to his and Lammons’ court case.
The two players were accused, along with two other defendants, of beating Darnell Greene Jr., of Houston, unconscious following an altercation that spilled out of an elevator and into a hallway.
Kamara and Lammons pleaded no contest on July 11 to misdemeanors and agreed to each pay just more than $100,000 toward Greene’s medical costs. The plea agreements came in conjunction with a settlement of a civil case Greene filed. Financial terms of that deal remain undisclosed.
Under the NFL’s player conduct policy, the league office may issue suspensions for conduct that is “illegal, violent, dangerous, or irresponsible puts innocent victims at risk, damages the reputation of others in the game, and undercuts public respect and support for the NFL.”
A conviction is not required for the NFL to suspend a player. The league reserves the right to take an independent view of available evidence, which in Kamara’s case, includes security video of the fight.
In 15 games last season, Kamara gained 1,387 yards from scrimmage — 897 rushing and 490 receiving. He scored two TDs rushing and caught two scoring passes.
For his career, Kamara has 8,888 yards from scrimmage (5,135 rushing, 3,753 receiving) and has scored 71 TDs (49 rushing, 22 receiving).
Before Friday, Kamara had not done any interviews since training camp began last week because he wasn’t ready to publicly revisit his trouble in Las Vegas.
“It’s hanging over you,” Kamara recounted. “Obviously, it’s self-inflicted. But nonetheless, it’s still something that’s, you know, it’s like a dark cloud. … It’s hard to kind of enjoy some of the smaller things.”
Now, Kamara said, he’s comfortable — for the first time in about a year and a half — opening up publicly about past mistakes and moving forward productively.
He said he felt like he “just had like a little boost in practice. I just felt better, like a weight was off.”
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