New Orleans Saints await gambling status for COVID-positive assistants Marshon Lattimore

FORT WORTH, Texas – Cornerback Marshon Lattimore and half of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff may be staying for Sunday’s game against Carolina as early as Friday morning.

Coach Sean Payton said Friday morning that Lattimore would likely be an “in-game decision”. A source confirmed to ESPN that Lattimore had thumb surgery earlier this week.

As for the six offensive assistant coaches who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, Payton said they will have to move to “2 for 2” with negative tests on Friday and Saturday to be allowed to take the flight for the Caroline Saturday. .

Lattimore, who injured his right thumb in Sunday’s 38-3 win over the Green Bay Packers, returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday.

When asked what goes into the decision of when a player can be allowed to play with a wrapped hand injury for protection, Payton said it depends on the specific injury.

“If you go back in history, what is the injury itself?” said Payton. “We will see how he does today [in Friday’s practice]. And he’s probably going to be one of those guys that’s a game time decision. He moves well. He is in shape. It’s just a matter of what type of injury each person has and what position they play. “

Lattimore, a three-time Pro Bowler, signed a five-year, $ 97.6 million contract extension on Sunday and is critical to New Orleans’ defense against a division rival that includes wide receivers DJ Moore and Robby. Anderson. However, the Saints will have veteran cornerback Bradley Roby in the lineup for the first time on Sunday after acquiring him in a trade with the Houston Texans last week. And rookie cornerback Paulson Adebo played well in his debut, intercepting Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

All six of the Saints’ assistant coaches who have tested positive for COVID-19 are vaccinated, allowing them to return once they are asymptomatic and provide two negative test results 24 hours apart. Payton said they would get Friday’s test results later today. If any of those tests turn out negative, coaches can take a quick test on Saturday to be cleared to fly.

Five of the missing assistants were identified by Payton as the New Orleans offensive line coach, receivers coach, running backs coach and two tight end coaches. All five have been absent from practice this week, along with an attacking analyst.

Payton joked that he, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry and assistant offensive line coach Zach Strief were like the little coaching staff on the show “Ted Lasso” while the other post coaches joined the meetings via videoconference.

Among the lower level assistants who have stepped up for the Saints is former Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod, who joined the team this summer as a coach / scout through Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching. Fellowship. Bushrod worked with tight ends in training.

“It’s not always what you’re used to, and yet these guys zoom in on meetings, they zoom in on evening meetings as we go on offense and defense,” Payton said. “And the # 1 thing is that they rest and become healthy. They are tested every day, and in the meantime, there are others here who are doing extra work. more collectively than all of us divided into our groups. So I think overall it turned out as well as you would expect. “


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