Saints' Sean Payton Says 'I Feel Well' After Coronavirus Diagnosis

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints runs on the field before the NFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton urged people to follow coronavirus prevention guidelines, led by social distancing, as he remains in self-quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

Payton told Peter King of NBC Sports he's "blessed for many reasons," and he's more concerned about others, especially those on the front lines fighting the disease, as he recovers at home:

"Look, I feel well. I'll get better, and we'll go on, and we'll have the draft in some way, shape or form. That's not what's important right now. What's important is our health-care workers, our doctors and nurses, on the front lines of this thing. We've got to take care of them.

"For now, this is our life, and we've got to be prepared for it. Some basic stuff in all of our lives is going to be threatened. We've all got to exercise a little more social responsibility. We all felt invincible at some point in our lives, as young people do now. But think of the person you might be affecting."

Payton said people must also focus on protecting vulnerable members of society by doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"When all is said and done, a third of every group in the country might get it," he told King. "And we've got to be careful about spreading it, of course. [Saints offensive coordinator] Pete Carmichael has diabetes, so we've got to be careful about him, and everyone really."

The 56-year-old California native has been the Saints head coach since 2006. He's guided New Orleans to a 131-77 record across 13 years and led the organization to a triumph in Super Bowl XLIV.

Meanwhile, the NFL offseason has continued despite the pandemic with free agency getting underway last week.

The league announced the draft would move forward in late April, though any public events in Las Vegas involving fans were canceled. Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times reported planning is now underway to move the event from Vegas to a studio.

Offseason workouts have all been delayed indefinitely because of the coronavirus.

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