Saints RBs ruled out as Kamara close contacts

12:08 PM ET

METAIRIE, La. — Replacing Alvin Kamara will be even harder for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday after their running backs room was ruled out following the star player’s positive test for COVID-19.

Backups Latavius Murray and Dwayne Washington and fullback Michael Burton were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday and are out against the Carolina Panthers. Running backs coach Joel Thomas also will not travel for or coach in the game.

Kamara tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

None of the other running backs tested positive, a source told Schefter, and they are expected back with the team next week. Kamara cannot return before next Sunday since he tested positive — putting his status for New Orleans’ playoff opener in jeopardy, unless the team can clinch a first-round bye.

To get the bye, in addition to a win of their own, the Saints would need the Chicago Bears to defeat the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks to defeat the San Francisco 49ers.

Against the Panthers, the Saints will likely lean heavily on wide receiver/former RB Ty Montgomery, versatile quarterback Taysom Hill and rookie practice

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