Promising New Orleans Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara was taken out of his team’s 20-17 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta on Thursday night after absorbing a vicious hit on the Saints’ first drive.

Alvin Kamara Injury News

Kamara — a third-round draft pick out of Tennessee — immediately jogged off the field and was evaluated for a concussion by trainers before being escorted back to the locker room. He was then ruled out.

The breakout rusher became injured when he was swarmed for a four-yard loss on a screen pass and took a helmet-to-helmet hit on a tackle from Falcons linebacker Deion Jones.

Jones intercepted a pass from Drew Brees in the end zone with less than two minutes left to give Atlanta (8-5, 3rd in NFC South) the victory. Matt Bryant added a 52-yard field goal with just under four minutes remaining.

After Jones’ interception, the Falcons were able to run out the clock with the help of an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on Saints coach Sean Payton.

Kamara tweeted early Friday morning that he didn’t seem too concerned about missing any additional time.

Kamara, 22, has emerged as a strong contender for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award with 608 rushing yards, 639 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He is ranked second in the league with 990 total yards from scrimmage from Weeks 6-14, only behind Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell. 

The Saints (9-4, 1st in NFC South) also lost three starters on defense: rookie defensive end Trey Hendrickson, linebacker A.J. Klein and left guard Senio Kelemete. The latter may have also sustained a concussion and did not return.

New Orleans pass rusher Mark Ingram could likely play a larger role if Kamara is out for a while.

Matt Ryan finished 15-of-27 for 221 yards and a touchdown. Brees completed 26-of-35 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns, plus the costly interception.

The Falcons next visit Tampa Bay on Dec. 18, while the Saints — who had an eight-game win streak earlier this season will host the New York Jets on Dec. 17.

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 07: Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints warms up prior to facing the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 7, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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