New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara enjoyed his ‘bye week’ due to COVID-19 quarantine

NEW ORLEANS —  The first thing Alvin Kamara wanted to make sure of after the Saints' 21-9 wild card playoff win over Chicago Sunday was his coach keeping his word.

"You better get slimed," he told Saints coach Sean Payton as he replaced him in the Zoom interview.

That was in reference to Payton’s comment on Friday when he learned CBS, which televised Sunday's game, had partnered with Nickelodeon, a network geared to kids that also televised the game.

"I will officially volunteer to be slimed if we win," Payton said Friday of the network's practice of dumping a green liquid people.

And Payton kept his word  after his press conference.

The Saints Alvin Kamara (middle) missed last week's game and practice all week leading up to the Bears game because of COVID protocols. It did not seem to bother him. (Photo: Chris Graythen, Getty Images)

Kamara missed it, but he didn't miss a beat in the game despite missing the Saints' regular-season finale at Carolina and the following week of practice on COVID-19 quarantine after testing positive Dec. 26. He led all rushers with 99 yards on 23 carries and extended the Saints’ lead to 21-3 on a 3-yard touchdown run with 8:50 to play in the fourth quarter.

"I felt fine," he said. "My wind was not affected. It didn't really affect me too much."

Kamara even thought that the missed practice time rejuvenated him.

"Oh yeah, I got a first-round bye," he said. "I got a bye week. You have no choice but to sit and recover your body. I felt good. I didn't miss a beat."

And he knew all the plays.

"I just texted him as things came up during the week with my thoughts," said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "I'd say, 'Here's a little nuance we're doing.' Or, 'Be ready for this.' So when he showed up on game day, it wasn't totally new."

Kamara took it in stride.

"You've got to adapt," he said.

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