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New Orleans Saints working with minimal offensive coaches this week due to Covid-19 affected members, 'It's like Ted Lasso, the three or four of us'

Payton: 'We’ll handle it with our group'

The New Orleans Saints host the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL Season in Jacksonville, FL.

Fort Worth, Texas – On-field preparation will begin in earnest Wednesday, Sept. 15 for the New Orleans Saints for Sunday's game against Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, and will do so minus the five offensive coaches who tested positive for Covid-19.

Coach Sean Payton said Wednesday that preparation largely will be unaffected, as the remaining offensive coaches simply will address larger groupings of players in meetings rather than breaking into the smaller, position groups.

The affected coaches include offensive line coach Brendan Nugent, senior offensive assistant/receivers coach Curtis Johnson, running backs coach Joel Thomas and running game coordinator/tight ends coach Dan Roushar.

"Basically, there's a group of offensive coaches, along with our nutritionist, (and) one player, that have tested positive," Payton said. "And all are vaccinated. So the protocol obviously is enhanced with the team and the staff, and that's part of it.

"And then, those that have tested positive, like everyone else, test daily now and they're going to need two negative tests before they can be back in the building and working. We don't know the timing or the timeframe on that. They're all offensive coaches.

"I said to (offensive coordinator) Pete (Carmichael) today, and (quarterbacks coach) Ronald (Curry) and (offensive line assistant) Zach (Strief), I said, 'It's like Ted Lasso, the three or four of us.' The rest of them are all up in their hotel rooms and they're doing the best they can with preparation.

"We meet today, for instance, in bigger groups. We're meeting with the receivers and the running backs and the quarterbacks as opposed to breaking out into those sub-groups just kind of covering the information.

"Instead of breaking up into a lot of groups, we're into smaller groups. Pete and I, and Ronald and Zach – obviously, we've got some young coaching assistants – we're missing an O-line coach, a receiver coach, a running back coach, a tight end coach, the other tight end coach. In the meantime, we'll handle it with our group."

FIRST DAY: Newly-acquired cornerback Bradley Roby will be on the field Wednesday. "He'll start practicing today," Payton said. "Today's our first day out on the field and we'll start working him at practice."

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