Saints coach Sean Payton seems to be recovering well, in his home quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.
And he also seems to be realizing that as the first NFL face of the disease, he has a responsibility to share his message.
Payton told Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America that the focus right now needs to be on taking care of the people who take care of us, and to be cognizant of the people around us.
“Look, I feel well. I’ll get better, and we’ll go on, and we’ll have the draft in some way, shape or form,” Payton said. “That’s not what’s important right now. What’s important is our health-care workers, our doctors and nurses, on the front lines of this thing. We’ve got to take care of them.
“For now, this is our life, and we’ve got to be prepared for it. Some basic stuff in all of our lives is going to be threatened. We’ve all got to exercise a little more social responsibility. We all felt invincible at some point in our lives, as young people do now. But think of the person you might be affecting.”
Payton tested positive last week, the first person in the NFL family to do so.
The 56-year-old is thankful he’s recovering well, knowing many others haven’t been as fortunate. That’s going to require some care, considering he’s been at places full of people like the Scouting Combine in February, and a horse race in Arkansas last weekend.
“When all is said and done, a third of every group in the country might get it,” he said. “And we’ve got to be careful about spreading it, of course. [Saints offensive coordinator] Pete Carmichael has diabetes, so we’ve got to be careful about him, and everyone really.”
He’s quarantined himself in his home for a week now, and will for at least another one. And while the nuts and bolts of football offseasons are changed, he’ll still participate in a teleconference today with the league’s Competition Committee to discuss rules changes.
And he’s grateful to be able to.