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Saints optimistic Alvin Kamara will return vs. Bears after game scheduled for Sunday

Thanks to the schedule makers placing the New Orleans Saints' wild-card bout against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Alvin Kamara has a chance to return this week.

Sunday marks 10 days since Kamara first tested positive, making it the first day he could return if he's cleared. Had the game been scheduled for Saturday, the running back wouldn't have been eligible to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Saints are optimistic they'll have Kamara back for the postseason opener versus Chicago.

It's not a given Kamara will play this weekend. To be eligible to return Sunday, Kamara must be asymptomatic, pass a cardiac screening, and get full medical clearance. But the schedule at least opens the door.

New Orleans' other running backs who were held out Week 17 as high-risk close contacts should be eligible to return mid-week and play Sunday, so long as they continue to test negative for COVID-19.

The Saints are also expecting receiver Michael Thomas to return from his three-week stint on injured reserve, Pelissero added.

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