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New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton would "embrace" playing home game at LSU if necessary

"If it was playing in the Dome with no fans, or playing up there with 25,000 of our fans, then every one one of us would make the second choice"

Sean Payton wouldn't have a problem with the New Orleans Saints temporarily calling LSU's Tiger Stadium home if it means that the Saints can play in front of fans.

On a Wednesday conference call, the Saints' head coach was receptive to the possibility that the Saints, 3-2 and tied for first place in the NFC South Division entering their bye week, could kick off in Baton Rouge the next time they take the field, on Oct. 25 for a noon game against Carolina.

The first game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season was played with no fans in attendance, and the second and third were played in front of a group of 750 family and friends as precautionary measures have been in place in New Orleans while the city continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I don't think there'll be many challenges," Payton said regarding playing in Baton Rouge. "You'd be playing on grass outside, in a great environment.

"If it was playing it in the Dome with no fans, or playing up there with 25,000 of our fans, then every one of us would make the second choice. So we would embrace it.

"To me, that would be exciting."

Running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook wistfully reflected on the presence of fans in the aftermath of New Orleans' last game, a 30-27, overtime victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said playing at Tiger Stadium would be different, but the Saints easily would adjust.

"At the end of the day, we play away games outside," Rankins said. "It's football. If we've got to head to Baton Rouge and call Tiger Stadium a home game, then so be it. We'll go there and handle business just as we would if we're playing in the Superdome."

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