The New Orleans Saints are going into their mini-bubble they’ve created.
The New Orleans Saints are going about combatting the coronavirus a little bit differently.
In Peter King’s Football Morning in America column on Monday, Aug. 3, King reveals the Saints are going into a mini-bubble they have set up at the Loews Hotel.
Per King, “beginning Wednesday, the team has contracted with the Loews Hotel to rent four floors of the fashionable borderline French Quarter hotel, so that most of the team’s 100 Tier 1 and 2 employees (all but some of the team doctors, cafeteria workers and security people) and many of the players would be able to quasi-quarantine in the luxe hotel till opening day.”
Saints head coach Sean Payton was the first NFL head coach to come down with the coronavirus back in March after taking part in Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans. Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson revealed to his team over the weekend he has tested positive for COVID-19, but is asymptomatic. Pederson is the first NFL head coach to test positive during the season.
Will the Saints’ mini-bubble in New Orleans work out in training camp?
First off, we have to commend the Saints for going about this intelligently and trying to give themselves the best opportunity to succeed. When the head football coach came down with the virus, of course, the entire Saints organization is taking this seriously. Renting out four floors of the Loews Hotel for a month to have somewhere between 150 and 180 may be excessive.
However, you have to take the necessary protocols to ensure the safety of a team’s players and staff. There are two other interesting caveats regarding the Saints’ mini bubble experiment. The first is the Saints are typically one of a handful of NFL teams who go away for training camp. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers do this as well in most offseasons.
Not every NFL franchise has the facilities to appropriately hold 90 or so players during a training camp period. Instead of having the players just stay at home in their New Orleans residences, the players and staff will be encouraged to come to the Loews Hotel to quarantine together. At its core, it is mitigating risk in a situation where the Saints would have certainly had to deal with it.
The other interesting point here is New Orleans could serve as an ideal bubble city should the NFL reluctantly have to go that route to ensure a season will be played in full. New Orleans is a southern climate with a domed stadium. This is one of the first cities in the country that come to mind when you think of the Super Bowl. New Orleans is an event town and can handle a bubble.
Maybe the Saints will be trendsetters here, as other NFL organizations will go into mini-bubbles?