Sean Payton Injury: Why Payton Is Best Served Staying in the Booth

Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIIOctober 17, 2011

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 16:  Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints is injured in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Head coach Sean Payton was severely injured early in the first quarter of Sunday’s 26-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If that doesn’t sound bizarre to you then I’m surprised you’re reading this article. Rarely does a coach on the sideline go down with injury during a NFL game, but this game saw two coaches get injured.

Payton was hurt when Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was pushed out of bounds. Graham fell into the left knee of Payton, causing Payton to fall down in pain. He would continue to coach from the bench for almost the entire first half and went for x-rays not long before halftime

The results showed Payton had torn his MCL and fractured his tibia in the collision.

According to ESPN, play-calling duties went to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, as Payton spent the second half watching the game from the training room.

Another coach went down in the second quarter. Bucs defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake joined the coaching injury report when he tore his patellar tendon jumping up in celebration of an interception by the Bucs.

The Saints head coach will get surgery on the injured knee on Monday and assuming that Payton tried to remain on the sideline on Sunday, he will most likely take the sideline next Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts as well.

However, next week’s game is at home, so Payton should call the plays from upstairs and avoid going to the sideline during the game. Players are constantly being pushed out of bounds and anybody that regularly watches football has seen coaches and cameraman destroyed by players many times.

Payton is a tough customer. He was once a quarterback for the Chicago Bears, so he clearly has the mindset of a player and will try to “play” next week. Instead, Payton should call plays from the booth and avoid getting to close to the action in the Superdome next week.

The Saints should have no problem taking care of the 0-6 Colts, no matter where Payton decides to position himself.