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Report: Saints 'Facing Significant Discipline' for Celebration Videos Amid COVID

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2020

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata (93) celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints will reportedly face "significant" discipline for violating the NFL's COVID-19 protocols after last week's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Saints are facing a stiff fine and the loss of a draft pick for players and staff not wearing masks during their postgame celebration. Several videos were posted on social media after the 38-3 blowout showing maskless Saints employees, a violation of NFL protocol.

The Saints and coach Sean Payton were previously fined for not following league protocol after Week 2. 

Because the Saints are repeat offenders, their punishment will likely be more significant. The Las Vegas Raiders were fined $500,000 and lost a sixth-round draft pick for repeated violations of the NFL's COVID-19 policy.

It seems likely the NFL will follow similar punishment guidelines with the Saints.

Last month, Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders discussed having COVID-19, saying he feared for his life, per the 17 Weeks podcast:

"Every night I go to sleep, I'm like, 'Lord, please, let me like wake up in the morning feeling good.' Like, I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night and like can't breathe. And like, s--t just goes south, right? That's like my biggest fear in watching that s--t; it intensifies my fears, right?

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Because people can say whatever you want, and everybody could say, 'Oh yeah, I'm not scared to get COVID.' But in the back of your head, and you may think you're healthy, but in the back of your head, you don't know this virus. Nobody knows anything about this virus. You don't know how your body's gonna react, and you don't know at any moment, like if s--t will go south, right?"

More than 245,000 people have died in the U.S. because of COVID-19 this year.

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