New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton confirmed Monday that because the Saints will play their first postseason game Sunday instead of Saturday, running back Alvin Kamara possibly will be available to play. Kamara tested positive for Covid-19 last week and his quarantine and recovery period would expire in time for the 3:40 p.m. game against Chicago at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"I think if it was a Saturday game, he doesn't play, a Sunday game, he can play," Payton said. "Anything during the week will have to be zoom."
Payton said it would have to be determined whether Kamara would be able to play without having practiced. "I think it would depend on the player and the situation," he said. "A lot of that will be just our decision based on where we think we are with the week, the player. We've got to be smart."
Kamara and the entire running backs room – running backs Latavius Murray and Dwayne Washington, fullback Michael Burton and running backs coach Joel Thomas – missed the regular-season finale against Carolina, the latter group due to contact tracing. Ty Montgomery filled in at running back and gained 105 yards on 18 carries in the 33-7 victory over the Panthers.
Kamara led the Saints in rushing attempts (187) and yards (932), receptions (83) and receiving yards (756), and scored a franchise record and league-leading 21 touchdowns. His 16 rushing touchdowns also is a franchise record. In his last game, he tied an NFL record with six rushing touchdowns in a 52-33 victory over Minnesota on Christmas Day.