Saints Players to Sequester at New Orleans Hotel
The list of unprecedented actions professional sports teams are taking to play their way through the coronavirus pandemic can now include luxury hotel accommodations in a downtown New Orleans hotel. Apparently several members of the New Orleans Saints staff, administration, and players will be sequestered at the Loews Hotel in the downtown area beginning Wednesday.
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton says the hotel is not a bubble. In fact, staying at the downtown hotel is merely an option. Payton says he does expect about 150 to 180 members of the team's critical staff and players to take advantage of the opportunity.
Payton was quick to point out that no one is being forced to stay in the facility. It's just part of the team's protocol to ensure that if "the show must go on" they are prepared to move forward safely.
Speaking of protocols, one of the league's COVID-19 protocols is that each player must take three separate coronavirus tests over a four day period. If each of those tests comes back negative the player will be allowed entrance to the Saints training facility. So far after one complete round of tests, no Saints players have reported as positive for the disease.
The practice portion of training camp for the team is set to begin on August 12th. The league has mandated that those practices will be without pads. The first practice with pads for the team won't come until August 17th. That is assuming there are no incidents involving positive tests or changes in the league's protocols between now and then.
The Saints begin their season at home against Tampa Bay on September 13th.