The Saints had a long night on Saturday as they waited for COVID-19 re-tests of fullback Michael Burton and other players after learning that Burton tested positive before the team flew to Detroit.
Those tests showed it was a false positive for Burton and that no other players were infected, so they were able to play as scheduled. They looked sluggish early, which could be attributed to a wait for word on the second round of testing that head coach Sean Payton said stretched to 3 a.m.
New Orleans bounced back from going down 14-0 in the early minutes and beat the Lions 35-29. After the game, Payton said he was proud of how the team dealt with everything.
“It’s just one of those games you’re proud of your team,” Payton said, via ESPN.com. “It’s [the nature of] this game — it’ll test you from an adversity standpoint. And I think this year is gonna be that way for a lot of us. New England’s gonna have to travel tomorrow, play a game tomorrow night. And quite honestly, no one really cares. And I mean that in a good way — there’s far more other things that are important that we’re suffering from than to hear about, ‘We were up ’til 1.’ That’s just the way it is this season. And so we have to understand that and then still be ready to play our best game.”
Burton said it was “really difficult, just thinking about my teammates, the negative effect it could’ve had on them” when he learned of the initial test and the impact it had once they arrived in Detroit. In the end, he’s healthy and the team was able to get a win so the trip worked out as well as it could have for the Saints.