Positive COVID-19 tests are sweeping through the NFL and other sports right now, and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton just got hit with a positive test. That means Payton will not coach in the Saints’ Week 15 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football.
New Orleans announced that defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will assume head coaching duties against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Payton should be good to coach Week 16’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
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The Saints are currently 6-7 and fighting for their playoff lives. They snapped a five-game losing streak last week against the lowly New York Jets after starting the season 5-2. The season-ending injury to Jameis Winston completely crushed the team’s momentum, with Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill struggling at quarterback. Hill did play much better in the 30-9 win over the Jets.
With or without Payton, going into Tampa and winning a prime-time game over the defending champs was always going to be a tall order. The Buccaneers are looking to earn the top seed in the NFC as they try to defend their crown, and they’re also out for revenge after the Saints beat them earlier this season. Tom Brady and Co. are going to be locked in for this matchup, and New Orleans will have to pull out all the stops in order to secure another win.
Not having Payton won’t help that cause, but the Saints are just going to have to overcome this adversity as they fight for the playoffs. There are currently five NFC teams with 6-7 records, with the Washington Football Team holding the tiebreaker and sitting in the final playoff spot.