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Sean Payton tests positive for COVID, NFL begins to postpone games

Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday and will not be available to coach in his team’s game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday – say the game even happens.

Just hours after the Saints’ announcement, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that “the NFL and NFL Players Association are in active discussions about postponing multiple Week 15 games in light of recent COVID cases.”

Soon after Pelissero’s tweet, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported that the Las Vegas Raiders-Cleveland Browns game had been moved from Saturday, December 18 to Monday, December 20. Just yesterday, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield called out the NFL for its protocols.

While there’s currently no word on the status of the Saints-Buccaneers game, ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Sunday’s Washington Football Team-Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks-Los Angeles Rams games have been moved to Tuesday, December 21.

Payton’s positive test result comes just as defensive end Cam Jordan, running back Mark Ingram, and wide receiver Ty Montgomery were all cleared to practice after testing positive for COVID last week.

Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will take over head coaching duties until Payton can return. The team says they expect the veteran head coach to be coaching again when they play the Miami Dolphins on December 27.

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