The New Orleans Saints are going to have to get creative with Taysom Hill in Week 17. Every single running back on the team’s active roster has been ruled out of Sunday’s contest as a result of Alvin Kamara being placed on the COVID-19/reserve list, according to Jay Glazer of Fox.
Kamara was placed on the COVID-19 list Friday. A player does not have to test positive for the virus to be placed on the COVID list. A player can also be placed on the COVID-19/reserve list if they come into close contact with someone who may have been exposed to the virus.
That last point is what led to the Saints losing their entire running back room in Week 17. Every running back on the Saints’ roster is considered a close contact with Kamara. Because of that, Latavius Murray, Dwayne Washington and Michael Burton — and potentially others — will miss Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
How will Saints get by without their running backs?
The Saints are going to have to get creative if they want to run the ball in Week 17. The team is reportedly moving Ty Montgomery, who’s had one carry for minus-4 yards the season, to running back for the game. The Saints also plan to elevate a player from their practice squad, according to Glazer.
While Hill probably won’t be used as a full-time running back, he could be featured in more trick plays Sunday. Hill has run the ball 80 times in 2020. He’s gained 416 yards and scored 7 touchdowns on those carries.
With nearly every running back unavailable, the Saints could rely more on quarterback Drew Brees. He won’t have another weapon besides Kamara, however, as Michael Thomas is still sidelined due to an ankle injury.
This is the second straight week an NFL team has dealt with an entire position group being unavailable for a game, as the Cleveland Browns were without their entire wide receiver depth in last Sunday’s loss to the Jets.
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