Covid 19 is rearing its ugly head one week into the NFL season. The New Orleans Saints announced earlier today that several members of their team tested positive for the virus. The Saints are now in a tricky spot as they begin contact tracing and testing.
Overall, eight members of the New Orleans Saints have tested positive: six offensive coaches, one nutritionist and one player. The Saints and the NFL will hope that this is a small cluster of cases and not the start of an outbreak like the one the league had to deal with in 2020.
It will undoubtedly cause some concern for the status of the Saints' game against the Panthers in Week 2. However, the NFL and the New Orleans Saints are confident that the game is not in any danger of being rescheduled.
NFL's COVID protocols come to the fore
The NFL's Covid protocols are rigid. The league does not wish to see more games rescheduled or teams suffering significant outbreaks. They accepted that 2020 was an extraordinary year, and they accommodated the Titans and Ravens when both teams experienced Covid cases.
Furthermore, the league laid down the law with the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions. The Broncos' quarterbacks all had to isolate before their game against the Saints. The league eventually made them play without a quarterback.
The Lions had all their coordinators and position coaches go down before they played the Bucs last December. The league forced the Lions to play with their third-string coaching staff.
The mitigation measures should limit the spread of Covid in the Saints building. Unless something substantial develops over the week, the Saints will play against the Carolina Panthers.
Saints in high spirits after smoking the Packers
The Saints are in a good state of mind coming into Week 2. They demolished the Packers in a 38-3 beatdown and their defense played at a nasty level. Sean Payton's team, though, is already dealing with Marshon Lattimore, Erik McCoy and Marcus Davenport's injuries.
The trio played excellently against the Packers and the Saints will hope that no more players come down with Covid or get injured. Week 2 at Carolina is on, as things stand.
The staff and players that have tested positive are all vaccinated, which means the Saints are in no danger of forfeiting their game against the Carolina Panthers.
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