The Saints, playing with a roster that was severely depleted by a COVID-19 outbreak, were not even competitive in Monday night’s 20-3 loss to the Dolphins. But Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said the NFL never considered delaying the game, as it has for other teams experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.
Loomis said on WWL Radio that he hasn’t seen a team have to scramble to put a roster together like the Saints did since NFL teams used replacement players during the 1987 NFL players’ strike, and he considered it unfair.
“If we had seven or eight or 10 COVID positives, we can handle that,” Loomis said. “When you have 18 active players and four of your practice squad players test positive for COVID, it’s just too much to overcome, frankly. It wasn’t fair to the players. It wasn’t fair to our coaching staff, and certainly not the fans.”
Loomis said the NFL made it clear to the Saints that they were playing on Monday night no matter how many players tested positive for COVID-19, and that the league office wouldn’t even consider the same kind of postponement that was granted a week earlier to the Browns, Rams and Washington Football Team.
“I don’t know what the reasoning is in New York. Those decisions aet made at the league level. But we were told pretty early on that the game wasn’t going to be postponed and just had to deal with it. That was their solution: Play the game no matter what,” Loomis said. “We don’t have to like it, but we have to live with it.”