Eight members of the team have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, effectively sidelining seven assistant coaches as New Orleans faces the Panthers.
The Saints received untimely news on Friday ahead of its Sunday matchup against the Panthers—they’ll be without seven assistant coaches.
Jim Chaney (offensive analyst), Declan Doyle (offensive assistant), Phil Galiano (assistant special teams), Curtis Johnson (senior offensive assistant/wide receivers), Brendan Nugent (offensive line), Dan Roushar (run game coordinator/tight ends) and Joel Thomas (running backs) will not be on the sidelines due to COVID-19 protocols as the team reportedly faces a potential outbreak. Per the franchise, their responsibilities will be split among the offensive staff.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that eight members of New Orleans have tested positive for COVID-19—six offensive coaches, one player and a nutritionist. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that five assistant coaches who tested positive for COVID-19 were all vaccinated.
Head coach Sean Payton confirmed on Wednesday that several members of the team tested positive.
“I said to [offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry and assistant offensive line coach Zach Strief], it’s like ‘Ted Lasso,’ the three or four of us. The rest of ’em are all up in their hotel rooms and they’re doing the best they can with preparation,” Payton said. “We meet today for instance in bigger groups—spread out—but we’re meeting with the receivers and running backs and quarterbacks as opposed to breaking out into those sub-groups, just kind of covering the information.
“Pete and I and Ronald has been here and Zach. Obviously we’ve got some young coaching assistants. We’re missing an O-line coach, a receiver coach, a running back coach, a tight end coach, the other tight end coach.”
Although wide receiver Michael Thomas was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Payton would not confirm whether he was the player who tested positive.
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