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New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton tests positive for COVID-19

Matt Johnson
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday’s Week 15 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This is the second time Payton has tested positive for the coronavirus. He contracted the virus in March 2020 and detailed his experiences with the side effects of the virus. At the time, he also spoke out to raise awareness of the importance of following COVID protocols and staying indoors.

Payton is fully vaccinated and with the NFL implementing new COVID guidelines, the process for returning is quicker than before. If he is asymptomatic and produces two negative tests within 24 hours, he could be cleared to return.

In Payton’s absence, defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will fill in as the interim coach. The Saints are scheduled to hold a Friday practice, but that could change with the COVID outbreak sweeping across the NFL.