The entire New Orleans Saints running back group was banned from Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported.
Star runner Alvin Kamara tested positive for COVID-19 this week.
As a result, the Pro Bowler will miss the week 17 game against the Carolina Panthers and his status for the playoffs is in doubt.
Kamara’s first positive test came back on Thursday, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. Due to the mandatory 10-day isolation period, he could not return before Sunday, January 10th. Kamara’s availability for the first round of the playoffs will depend on whether the Saints have to play on the wild card weekend and if they are given a Saturday or Sunday playoff date.
Kamara comes from a monster performance in Week 16. He scored six rushing touchdowns, setting an NFL record. He finished the regular season with 932 rushing yards, 756 receiving yards and a total of 21 scores.
Latavius Murray was originally supposed to slip onto the starting line-up in Kamara’s absence. All running backs (Latavius Murray, Dwayne Washington and fullback Michael Burton) were identified as high-risk, close contacts and are also not allowed to play on Sunday.
The Saints running game will now rely on the legs of running back / wide receiver Ty Montgomery. He’s only had one carry this season.
Quarterback Taysom Hill could play a bigger role on Sunday. Hill ran 416 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season.
The Saints are fighting for first place in the Conference. However, should they lose on Sunday or the Green Bay Packers defeat the Chicago Bears, New Orleans would have to play a wild card game.
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