When news broke yesterday that Saints Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara tested positive for COVID-19, the first question from many was whether or not he would be able to play in a potential Wild Card playoff game. (That is still TBD)

It was an immediate given he would not be able to play in the regular season finale this Sunday in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers.

As it turns out, New Orleans will be much more shorthanded at running back tomorrow than they anticipated.

As Jay Glazer reports, the Saints will be without Kamara, Latavius Murray, Dwayne Washington, fullback Michael Burton and running backs coach Joel Thomas.

Wide receiver Ty Montgomery has a history of playing running back during his time with the Green Bay Packers, and quarterback/athlete Taysom Hill has taken reps at running back and fullback in the past.

In addition, undrafted rookie free agent Tony Jones Jr. will be called up from the practice squad to make his NFL debut, according to Saints insider Nick Underhill.

While news look this would feel much more catastrophic if it happen shortly before a playoff game, it's still a blow considering the Saints head into week 17 with a chance at earning the #1 seed and a bye in the NFC with a win over the Panthers and some help.

With a win against Carolina, coupled with a Seattle Seahawks (11-4) win versus the San Francisco 49ers, and a Green Bay Packers (12-3) loss to the Chicago Bears would give the Saints the 1 seed, and a first round bye.

Any other scenario involving a Saints win would lead them to #2 spot in the NFC playoff picture.

If New Orleans and Seattle both lose, the Saints would remain the #2 seed, regardless of Green Bay's outcome versus Chicago.

If the Saints lose to the Panthers, and Seattle defeats San Francisco, New Orleans will fall to the 3 seed.

With only one team earning a bye in each conference this year, the #1 seed offers as big an advantage as ever.

Carolina (5-10) hosts New Orleans (11-4) tomorrow afternoon at 3:25.

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