The New Orleans Saints are trying to contain a COVID-19 outbreak after eight people, including coaches and players, tested positive. The outbreak began among their coaching staff after six assistant offensive coaches tested positive. One unidentified player and a nutritionist are also among the positives, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Shefter.

New Orleans Saints COVID outbreak positive test coaching staff
The New Orleans Saints offense in action against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Image: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

All six assistant coaches are vaccinated, which means they could be available for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers. If someone is vaccinated, they can return to action if they provide two negative tests within a 24-hour period.

The Saints have a 100% vaccination rate among their coaching staff and overall personnel. The entire staff will undergo daily testing and wear masks as part of the NFL’s health and safety protocol. The Saints hope they can return to New Orleans sooner than later. They currently share a practice facility with TCU in Forth Worth, Texas, in the wake of Hurricane Ida, which ravished Louisiana and knocked out power for over a week in New Orleans.

Hurricane Nicholas is currently ravaging the Texas and Louisiana coastline with more heavy rains, which could threaten the Saints’ quick return to New Orleans.

The Saints looked good in their first game without Drew Brees, who retired in the offseason. The Saints won their Week 1 matchup against the Green Bay Packers in a 38-3 shellacking in Jacksonville after the Saints’ home opener was relocated due to Hurricane Ida. Aaron Rodgers played awfully, throwing two interceptions in the ugly loss for the Packers. Jameis Winston destroyed Green Bay’s secondary and torched them for five touchdown passes, including two to tight end Juwan Johnson.

The Saints opened as -3 favorites over the Panthers in Week 2, according to the Circa Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas. The Saints are +2200 odds to win Super Bowl 56, which is a sharp bump from +3000 odds in preseason after their big win against the Packers.

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