New Orleans Saints  

 

Sean Payton, Joe Vitt, Mickey Loomis at Saints' game

Suspended New Orleans Saints coaches Sean Payton and Joe Vitt, along with suspended general manager Mickey Loomis, are expected to attend Sunday night's home game against the San Diego Chargers, according to a source with knowledge of the team's and suspended officials' plans.

Television cameras showed Payton in the stadium about one hour before kickoff. Vitt and Loomis were later seen together on camera.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees made a special request to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week to have all three suspended officials attend the game because he is on the verge of breaking Johnny Unitas' NFL record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. The league granted the request, saying it was giving the one-time pardon because of the game's potential historic circumstances.


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Payton, Vitt and Loomis are not to have any contact with players or current coaches during their visit. Seating arrangements were made by the team, according to an NFL spokesman.

Payton (full season), Vitt (six games) and Loomis (eight games) were suspended by the NFL for their roles in the Saints' pay-for-performance bounty scandal. Once suspended, they were not allowed to attend any team functions or speak to anyone with the team -- including each other.

The league granted permission for former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (suspended indefinitely) to attend the St. Louis Rams' game against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4. Williams was hired as St. Louis' defensive coordinator before his suspension. His son also is a coach on the Rams' staff.

Once Williams was granted permission to attend the game, Brees sought to have Payton, Loomis and Vitt attend the New Orleans-San Diego game at the Superdome.

Brees has thrown a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games, tying Unitas' record.

Payton initially said he didn't plan to go, but that was before Brees made his request.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

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