Saints enter Carolina game without 8 assistant coaches –




FILE – In this Sunday, September 12, 2021, file photo, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, second from left, watches players warm up before a football game in the NFL versus the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville, Florida. Six unidentified members of the Saints’ coaching staff, a player and a nutritionist tested positive for COVID-19, two people familiar with the situation said on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. The people spoke with the Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team and the NFL had not made a public statement about it. The names of people who test positive should not be disclosed in the short term due to federal medical confidentiality laws. (AP Photo / Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – The New Orleans Saints will have a total of eight coaches unable to attend Sunday’s road game against the Panthers due to positive COVID-19 tests.

While offensive line coach Brendan Nugent has cleared COVID-19 protocols and is now ready to coach, assistant head coach and defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen, and defensive assistant Brian Young, will not be able to attend the game, the club announced on Saturday.

The club have said that the roles of Nielsen and Young on match day will be divided among the rest of the defensive staff.

Six other assistant coaches had already been excluded: receivers coach Curtis Johnson, tight ends coach Dan Roushar, running backs coach Joel Thomas, offensive analyst Jim Chaney, offensive assistant Declan Doyle and special teams assistant Phil Galiano.

The initial outbreak primarily affecting the coaching staff became evident from test results on Tuesday, two days after New Orleans ’38-3 victory over Green Bay, a Saints’ ‘home game’ that was moved to Jacksonville, Florida. The NFL moved the game because officials feared it was too soon after Hurricane Ida hit the ground on August 29, which caused widespread damage and power outages in Southeastern Louisiana, so the New Orleans area can host an event at the 73,000-seat Superdome. .

The club, which has been practicing in the Dallas area since being evacuated to Ida on August 28, began operating under the NFL’s enhanced mitigation protocols after this week’s outbreak, requiring indoor masking daily installations and testing, among other social distancing measures.

The outbreak did not affect the active list. The only player placed on the Saints’ COVID-19 roster this week was wide receiver Michael Thomas, who was already unavailable until Week 7 as he started the regular season on the club’s physically unable to play roster.


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