Sport Eight Saints personnel test positive for COVID-19 ahead of Panthers game
Union urges NFL to adopt daily COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players
There’s a decent chance that the COVID-19 pandemic will play more of a role during the 2021 NFL season than last year. We’re seeing relaxed protocols from the league as it relates to fully vaccinated players with Week 1 of the campaign slated to get going Thursday evening. It has already led to some COVID-related issues for teams. That includes star guard Zack Martin and the Dallas Cowboys with their opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mere days away. Despite being fully vaccinated, Martin tested positive for the virus and will miss the game.NFLPA president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns touched on this recently.
The Saints have experienced eight reported cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including six offensive coaches, one player and one nutritionist,.
The player in question appears to be wide receiver Michael Thomas, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. He was already on the physically unable to perform list, so this case won't impact the Saints for this week's game.
Saints WR Michael Thomas, who's on PUP list, placed on reserve/COVID-19 list after positive test— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL)
Red Sox place right-hander Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 IL as outbreak worsens
The Red Sox now have a combination of 12 players and coaches sidelined due to the coronavirus. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts; utility man Enrique Hernandez; second baseman Christian Arroyo; infielder Yairo Munoz; and pitchers Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura and Martin Perez tested positive for COVID-19, while left-hander Josh Taylor and first-base coach Tom Goodwin are in quarantine as close contacts. Quality control coach Ramon Vazquez has also tested positive for the virus.
The Saints have not disclosed any further information on the cases, though affected coaches' status for Sunday's game against the Panthers is questionable.
Coach Sean Payton announced the entire coaching staff was vaccinated. The vaccination status of Thomas and the nutritionist is unknown.
That said, NFL players and coaching staff are tested every day regardless of vaccination status. Therefore, if the vaccinated are asymptomatic and test negative twice 24 hours apart, they will be allowed to return to the team. But, if they are unvaccinated, they have to isolate for at least 10 days even if they are asymptomatic. The Saints are now following the NFL's enhanced mitigation protocols, which includes mask wearing indoors and daily tests.
NBA proposes new set of strict rules for unvaccinated players
ESPN has obtained a memo from the NBA that proposes stringent protocols for the upcoming season for players who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. The memo states that unvaccinated players "will have lockers as far away as possible from their vaccinated teammates and will have to eat, fly, and ride buses in different sections." Unvaccinated players will also be subject to testing on practice days as well as game days and could be potentially be checked twice ahead of games. Other bullet points, as mentioned above, regarding the limited contact unvaccinated players can have with their inoculated teammates.
This is the first big COVID-19 breakout in the NFL this season, and it came right after Week 1.that 93 percent of players were vaccinated. As of now, only two teams are fully vaccinated: the Falcons and the Buccaneers.
This isn't the first time the Saints have made headlines regarding COVID-19. In March 2020, Payton became the first person associated with the NFL to get COVID-19.
GM Mickey Loomis confirmed that Saints are dealing with some COVID cases and enhanced protocols but didn’t share many specifics. Said Saints have a coach in Sean Payton who does a great job dealing with adversity and “we’ll handle it.”— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett)
Former Baylor basketball star Mark Vital signed to Seattle Seahawks' practice squad .
Mark Vital, the 6-5, 250-pound guard who won an NCAA title at Baylor, will get a look at tight end after not playing football since middle school. “I’ve worked out for a couple of teams and they liked the way I looked," Vital recently told KPLCTV.com. "They said I had great hands and I was fast and big. I can do a lot of things that can help teams. It’s a learning experience because it’s something different.” © Robert Scheer, IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports Baylor guard Mark Vital, right, blocks a shot by Gonzaga's Corey Kispert during the men's 2021 NCAA Tournament championship game April 5 in Indianapolis.