Saints head coach Sean Payton was the first NFL head coach to contract COVID-19 this offseason, but the team hasn’t had anyone diagnosed with the coronavirus since they began testing at the start of training camp last month.
Part of the reason for that has been the team’s decision to rent out space in a Loews Hotel for players and other team personnel who choose to stay in that controlled environment rather than go back and forth from home each day. The team has had a couple of players land on the COVID-19 list for brief periods after further testing showed they were false positives, but they’ve been otherwise clean in testing.
In a conversation with Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Payton cautioned against anyone letting their guard down because of how things have gone to this point.
“I’m proud and glad that we haven’t had a positive test, but you need to know something: Just when you think everything is good, bam! We’ll have eight,” Payton said. “That’s how this guy works. This isn’t like we’ve got this figured out. Man, we don’t have this figured out.”
The Cowboys have followed the Saints’ sequester plan near their training facility and others could follow suit. That’s not the same as the bubble that the NBA and NHL are using to complete their seasons, but Payton thinks teams that advance to the postseason will have “a hard bubble” in place to make sure no one misses time at that point in the season.