New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters Wednesday that he wouldn't be surprised if the NFL had to suspend some games on the 2020 schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Payton's comments came as he was asked if the Saints plan to separate quarterbacks or position groups this year as a precaution. The question has been a common one for coaches during a week in which a number of players have opted out of the season while other veterans have reported for camps for their first rounds of COVID-19 tests.
Payton said he doesn't see the Saints taking such action.
"I don't anticipate separating quarterbacks or separating certain position groups," he said. "We're going to be smart relative to how their locker ... and look I think that the key is hopefully you can stay as healthy as possible. I won't be surprised if some games are forfeit ... or not forfeited. There'll be some suspended games, though. There'll be some teams that have players at one position group where they just won't be able to play the game and that's part of the deal. I think the league understands that."
Payton, the lone head coach known to have tested positive for coronavirus this offseason, also was asked if he has followed the COVID-19 outbreak on baseball's Miami Marlins this week. Major League Baseball has postponed multiple games and has forced the Marlins to shut down through this Sunday.
"We're paying attention to all of the leagues," Payton said. "I think the NBA has done a fantastic job. I think the NHL has done a fantastic job. I'm not quite as familiar with what's going on in baseball. I think the concerns we all have with football is just the fact that we're not creating a bubble. So we're going to have to be on point with our testing and be able to adjust very quickly should a player or group of players test positive."