As fellow professional sporting leagues experience varying results from their different restarts amid an ongoing pandemic, at least one NFL franchise is taking note and preparing accordingly.
The New Orleans Saints are planning something of a bubble for the organization's Tier 1 and 2 employees to voluntarily enter in the final weeks before the start of the regular season, according to NBC Sports' Peter King.
"It's not a bubble," Saints coach Sean Payton told King. "It's a sequester. The message from the league is, 'The show must go on.' If so, we've got to do everything we can to be sure that happens."
According to King, the sequester will take place at the Loews Hotel, where the team has contracted four floors of space for its 100 employees that fall on Tiers 1 or 2 and its 80 players. The goal: Lower the risk of someone contracting COVID-19 as much as possible by offering a safe environment in which they can spend the weeks leading up to the start of the season. It isn't much different than a home team spending the night before the game in a hotel, save for the fact the amount of time is much longer. In this unprecedented time, unusual measures might just be necessary to try to compete and succeed.
"Isn't that what we do for a living?" Payton said. "It's like creating a game plan with a likelihood of success. We're just trying to increase the odds of success."
Major League Baseball has struggled to contain the spread of COVID-19 as teams travel from city to city, while the National Basketball Association is off to a good pace with few issues related to the coronavirus while operating in its bubble. We'll see if other teams adopt the Saints' attempt to create their own happy medium.