Saints to rent out part of Loews Hotel in downtown NOLA to sequester before season
The New Orleans Saints' players and employees who are considered 'critical staff' have the option of staying at Loews Hotel in downtown New Orleans beginning Wednesday, August 5.
According to The Advocate, the decision to rent out a massive block of rooms within the hotel was made for safety precautions in relation to COVID-19, it will allow critical staff and players to "sequester" there until the first week of September.
Saints coach, Sean Payton, says the offer to stay at the hotel is exactly that, an offer, and not a requirement. Payton went on to say he expects about 150 of 180 employees and players to opt on staying in the hotel.
When speaking of the team's use of Loews Hotel, Payton told reporters. “The message from the league is, ‘The show must go on.’ If so, we’ve got to do everything we can to be sure that happens.”
As of Round One of team testing for training camp, no Saints players have tested positive for coronavirus.
Last week, Payton said the COVID precautions implemented during this season's training camp have completely changed their typical training routine.
"It's the antithesis of training camp," Payton said.
Players won't be able to practice (with helmets and shorts only) until August 12, at the earliest. Full pads don't come on until at least Aug. 17, but Payton said the Saints will be in full pads every day that they're allowed to be.
Players and coaches are, much like NFL officials, attempting to adapt as quickly as they can to the constant schedule changes and new health-related rules being implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL has already canceled its preseason. The Saints begin their regular season against Tampa Bay on Sept. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
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