The New Orleans Saints are going into Week 17 without star running back Alvin Kamara, who tested positive for COVID-19. There's a chance they might not have him for their first-round playoff game either.
When a player tests positive without symptoms--Kamara is asymptomatic--he must wait 10 days until he can clear all COVID protocols and return to the field. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Kamara tested positive yesterday.
That puts his earliest possible return date at Sunday, January 10, meaning he could possibly play in New Orleans' Wild Card game that day--if the Saints are given a Sunday time slot.
If NO has to play in one of the Wild Card games on Saturday, January 9, Kamara can't participate.
Given the Saints' checkered history with the NFL and its officials, it's not surprising that many Saints fans think they are going to be playing on Saturday and will have to do so without Kamara.
This would be a sizable blow, regardless of who New Orleans will face on Wild Card Weekend. However, the Saints match up better with the Bears and Cardinals without Kamara than they do the Rams without him.