Saints Coach Sean Payton Tests Positive for COVID-19
The New Orleans Saints will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday night, but their head coach won't be with them at Raymond James Stadium.
The NFL franchise confirmed on Friday that Payton tested positive for COVID-19. The team made the announcement on its Twitter page.
According to team officials, Payton was isolated from the team immediately after testing positive. Payton, team officials say, is fully vaccinated.
Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will serve as the Saints' interim head coach for Sunday's game.
Payton missed practice on Wednesday after feeling ill, but he tested negative for COVID-19 at the time. Payton's positive result on Friday will force him to miss the next 10 days of team activities. He's expected to return to the sideline for the December 27 contest against the Miami Dolphins.
This is the second time Payton has tested positive for COVID-19. He previously contracted the virus prior to the start of the 2020 season.
Last week, three Saints players missed the team's game against the New York Jets because they either had tested positive for COVID-19 or had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive. Saints defensive lineman Cameron Jordan, who had never missed a game in his career prior to last week, was reactivated from the NFL COVID protocol on Thursday.
This news comes three days after Netflix announced that Kevin James would play Payton in a new movie. Twitter was prepared for today's news with callbacks to the earlier headline.