Sean Payton: Saints signed specialists to practice squad as COVID-19 precaution

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As teams advance in the postseason, no one wants to have their playoff run completely upended by COVID-19.

That’s part of why the Saints signed kicker Blair Walsh and long snapper John Denny to their practice squad.

On Wednesday, head coach Sean Payton called the two emergency options who will work away from the team in case something happens with the virus. Payton noted the importance of getting the players in the testing protocol, which takes days before the player becomes eligible to enter the building.

“I don’t really feel like trying to kick, or hold, or snap,” Payton said, tongue in cheek, via Katherine Terrell of

New Orleans missed Alvin Kamara in Week 17 when he was on the COVID-19 list, but the running back returned for the wild-card matchup with Chicago last week. But specialists aren’t easily replaced, so the Saints now have an established contingency plan.