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Austin Carr re-signs with New Orleans Saints to complete hectic five-week stretch

'I wouldn't sign with the Saints if I didn't think they had effective, impactful role for me'

Taysom Hill drives throw to Austin Carr for Saints' first TD

New Orleans Saints receiver Austin Carr  and his wife, Erica, had a bundle of joy and a bit of a scare.

The joy was the birth of their first child, Clive, on April 4. The scare? Erica tested positive for COVID-19 prior to childbirth, and Carr is fairly convinced he contracted and recovered from coronavirus prior to Clive's birth.

Mix in the fact that Thursday, Carr agreed to terms on a one-year contract to return to the Saints, and it's a testament to Carr's level-headedness that he knows today's date.

"It wasn't the birth process that we expected," Carr said on Friday. "Obviously with the pandemic and the quarantine and everything that's going on, hospital protocol is a little bit different.

"Checking in, she had to go ahead of me and get a COVID test, and after about an hour it came back positive. That launches them into their COVID-19 protocol with a patient. They were amazing. They were doing everything they could to make sure that we were taken care of, while also taking care of themselves.

"Luckily, Erica wasn't feeling under the weather, she wasn't feeling super sick and neither was I. We're pretty sure that I had it a little while ago, because I got an antibody test which came back positive. I don't know how credible it is, but from what I can tell it is. And I also had symptoms about a month, maybe a half-month before Clive was born. Clive's (test) came back negative.

"All in all, we feel blessed and thankful for the health care and for the workers who were looking out for us. We're grateful for healthy mom, healthy baby. And ultimately, just continuing on in life, staying at home as much as we can."

Carr, whose 2019 season was cut short due to an ankle injury, appeared in six games with three starts, and caught a nine-yard pass. In three seasons, he has 10 catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

He said that he didn't have a fever, but did lose his sense of taste and smell.

"My test came back negative, like, three days after he was born," Carr said. "But I think that I had it maybe a month ago. Like, two weeks before Clive was born was when I had the symptoms mostly and I'm guessing that I beat it then, and wasn't going to test positive once I was tested. That's why I got the antibodies test, because it was like, 'OK, I had these symptoms. Do I have it?' And that confirmed I did."

Now, the goal is to fully rebound from the ankle injury and make an impact for the Saints. Carr said he felt he was entering a phase where he was becoming more effective, but then injured his ankle. He wasn't able to visit other teams during the free agency process.

"I think the No. 1 question for everybody was, How is his ankle and how is he healing?' he said. "It's kind of weird. It's funky during this time when other teams, I'm not working out for them because no one can travel right now. We just felt like the best opportunity and the best season, both collectively and individually, would be had here in New Orleans. I love the program here and I love the guys. At the end of the day, it was a fit.

"You look at where you're trending, I think. That's really what I was thinking about: Where am I trending? Am I trending in a good direction in his program? Honestly, when I think of just how I've acclimated to the offense, built a rapport with Drew (Brees) and gotten better year by year, those were three boxes that you check and you say, 'This could definitely fit.' "

Carr said he's confident he can produce in New Orleans.

"I wouldn't sign with the Saints if I didn't think they had an effective, impactful role for me," he said. "I think it begins with Drew and with grasping the offense, and then with proving yourself on the field – which I felt like I was making great headway with last season, especially preseason.

"But then it also translates to the kicking game as well, and that's an area where I'm really focusing on showing what I can do. There's plenty of, I think, 'prove it' opportunities for me this season in the kicking game and I'm looking to contribute there, too."


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