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The Saints may not have all their quarterbacks for Monday's Week 16 showdown with the Dolphins, but they should have their head coach. After a positive COVID test sidelined him for New Orleans' shutout win over the Buccaneers, Sean Payton returned to the team Friday, as first reported by The Times-Picayune's Jeff Duncan, and is on track to coach Monday night.

New Orleans fared well, at least defensively, in Week 15 against Tampa Bay, with defensive coordinator Dennis Allen filling in for Payton and guiding a 9-0 shutout win to sweep the club's 2021 series with Tom Brady. But Monday's matchup with Miami is just as important for a Saints team on the brink of the NFC playoff picture. New Orleans (7-7) currently sits just outside of the last wild-card spot but could conceivably overtake the Vikings (7-7) depending on what happens this week.

The NFL recently revised its COVID-19 protocols in the wake of virus outbreaks across the league. Payton officially tested out of the protocols Friday, per NFL Media, after battling COVID for the second time in as many years.

That doesn't mean COVID won't affect the Saints in Week 16. New Orleans, which placed nine players on COVID reserve Thursday, is preparing to start fourth-round rookie Ian Book at QB after starter Taysom Hill -- himself a replacement for the injured Jameis Winston -- tested positive for COVID in recent days. Reserve Trevor Siemian, who initially replaced Winston, is also on COVID reserve and unavailable ahead of Monday's game. The Saints are also reportedly signing journeyman backup Blake Bortles on Friday with the hopes of having the veteran serve as the No. 2 against the Dolphins.

On Friday, the Saints placed four more players on the reserve list, including Ryan Ramczyk and Demario Davis. Assistant defensive backs coach Cory Robinson, assistant offensive line coach Zach Strief, and coaching intern Sterling Moore were also placed on the list.