Mickey Loomis: Playing in a COVID outbreak wasn’t fair, but NFL told Saints we had to deal with it

NFL: DEC 27 Dolphins at Saints
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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.”

35 responses to “Mickey Loomis: Playing in a COVID outbreak wasn’t fair, but NFL told Saints we had to deal with it

  1. I’d love to see some teams or fans sue the NFL over their favoritism.

    In particular now that you have legal betting the NFL can’t just make up rules as it goes along and favor those teams whom they are either trying to build a market or rewards for playing along with the NFL management.

  2. Advertising,networks and nflpa are about the only ones the league is concerned about ticking off. 1 disgruntled team,fan base,or owner doesn’t matter.

  3. The competitive unfairness is undeniable in intolerable. How does the league justify helping some teams by delaying games, but not others?

  4. Not the NFL playing biased favoritism. Nope. Not at all. Im sure it was just an accidental oversight. Nothing deeper than that. Nope, nothing.

  5. The Packers have 17 players on the COVID list right now. SEVERAL STARTERS ALSO OUT due to injury. The team is totally decimated by BOTH injury and COVID.

    People just look past the Packers when it comes to COVID and etc. People act like the Packers have had no adversity this season because they have still succeeded while being decimated by injuries and COVID all season.

    The Packers have great depth and they are able to overcome things. Teams with the best top to bottom rosters will be the best teams in the league.

    The teams that had to have the NFL adjust their schedules this season had less players out than the Packers do. Something isn’t adding up here when I hear these other teams feeling sorry for themselves.

  6. Apparently protecting the shield is more about protecting advertisers and networks than it is the product on the field.

  7. Mickey, do a better job keeping your guys safe. It’s like telling the cop it’s not fair because they served too much alcohol at the bar. It’s not the league’s fault. It’s your job to field a healthy team. Try harder.

  8. He has a point but last year the Broncos had to play without a real QB so its been done before.

  9. Every team has players go out for covid, perhaps Saints could of had better policies in place to prevent the spread? Maybe a large portion of the team is unvax so that maybe hurt? Was it fair?? Maybe not.. but every team has to over come things like this

  10. Just Here So I Don’t Get Fined says:
    December 30, 2021 at 6:47 am
    The league office is so hypocritical.

    26 4 Rate This


    some might call it cheating

  11. Last year the Saints benefited when they played at Denver when the Broncos didn’t have. QB. The NFL is going to plow through this. Sometimes you’re on the right side and sometimes you’re on the wrong side.

  12. A guess the most they could have done was postpone it for a day but that was it. Not sure if that would have helped on not. If it would have they should have at least pushed it back a day. Like they point out they did it for other teams.

  13. “People just look past the Packers when it comes to COVID and etc. People act like the Packers have had no adversity this season because they have still succeeded while being decimated by injuries and COVID all season.”

    Try playing without your top two QB’s because of COVID and tell me how that works out. We saw how the one game worked out. Without Rodgers your team doesn’t make the playoffs no matter how good your depth is. Consider yourself lucky to have Farve, then Rodgers.

  14. next year dont schedule monday night games during cold and covid season and flex game(s) into monday night based on those that will need an extra day to get through sniffles issues. or….stop testing and just let healthy players play

  15. Roger Goodell has ruined the NFL. The week before, when multiple teams had over 20 positive cases each, the proper response SHOULD have been to cancelled the entire weekend slate of games. Period. No reschedules. Just cancal all of them completely. But as pointed out here by several, its not about the integritu of the game, treating everyone fairly of the health of the players……….Its all about the advertising $$$$ and the Greed. The NFL today……produces a very lousy and tainted product

  16. I love the way some people blame Goodell for everything like the NFL being the most popular sport on tv. If the NFL is ruined why does it have the best ratings on TV today. Even preseason games out draw other pro league playoffs. FYI the greed he shows is split with the players 50/50, His “greed” goes directly into everyone else’s pockets too. So if you blame him for being greedy you have to point a finger at everyone getting a paycheck too.

  17. But it was fine last year when the Broncos had to play a WR for QB. Saints were ok with that

  18. The NFL and Goodell has had it out for us since we pushed back with all the Bounty nonsense! Think of all the non calls that NEVER go our way and favoritism other teams get when playing the Saints. Idk what the NFL has against us but it’s criminal, especially to the younger fans.

  19. As a Saints fan, it’s getting hard to pretend that Goodell doesn’t have an axe to grind against the Saints. I know he’s just the face for the owners (too many fans forget that he’s paid to take the heat that should be placed on team ownership — the team owners ARE the NFL), but, damn. The PR BS that was bountygate, when multiple teams were saying “we’ve done that”, the ongoing horrific PI calls on Saints DBs (granted, deserved in 2013 to 15 when the DBs were . . . not good), and if Raiders’ fans can still moan about the Immaculate Reception, I can be angry about the most egregious and obvious non-call in a playoff game to the day I die.

    Also, the situation isn’t the same as against the Broncos last year, which was also a farce of a game. However, the Broncos QBs DIDN’T FOLLOW PROCEDURES and got busted for it. Don’t feel particularly sorry for them.

    And if you don’t see the obvious issue of pushing multiple games two weeks ago because of COVID affecting teams — when the league had been saying all along that it wouldn’t — and then the identical situation with the Saints and a refusal to move the game . . . well, you’re just immune to what’s in front of you. The NFL is playing favorites and they’ve made it harder for the Saints to make the playoffs and made it easier for the Dolphins to reach the playoffs. If you don’t think the NFL is salivating at the idea of a team going from 1-7 to the playoffs and loving that storyline, you’re blind.

    And there’s not been a hint that the Saints have violated ANY of the COVID protocols. They got screwed. Period. Given the state of the offense, no guarantee they would’ve won anyway, but, just, egads.

  20. The bias is obvious not only against the Saints but a couple other teams. However, none are worst than what New Orleans has to contend with yearly. There’s not a Saints fan anywhere that care for the commissioner in any sense. The dominant win over TB sent major warnings to the league and Roger wasn’t about to let NO be part of the playoffs. The NFL has GB, Dal, Tom Brady, LA, SF, all in the playoffs. These are the league’s favorite teams and the amount of revenue and playoff matchups are what they want.

  21. Nobody plays the victim quite like the Saints do.

    Earlier comments are right. They got a cheap W this very way last year.

  22. “But it was fine last year when the Broncos had to play a WR for QB. Saints were ok with that”

    Should the Saints have refused to play last year? Nobody is blaming Miami, they’re wondering why the NFL moves some games and not others. Of course last year it wasn’t 22 vaccinated players and 4 vaccinated coaches that were out, it was an unvaccinated (not yet available) QB room that didn’t follow protocols.

  23. The Broncos broke protocol last year – their QB admitted it. To further debunk that comparison, the Saints were punished last year along with the Raiders when teams like the Steelers got away with the exact same thing. Can always rely on you guys to come to the NFL’s defense at the Saints expense no matter the situation.

  24. ksiner46 says:
    December 30, 2021 at 6:02 am
    You knew the rules, you shoulda done more to prevent an outbreak

    Actually they didn’t know the rules because the NFL does have consistent rules across teams. Its not possible to know what the rules are when they are being determined on the fly what they will be for each situation. And thats the point right there. Its not what should happen to a team itself that matters, its that what happens to a team has to be the same as happens to every team or they are not maintaining an even competative field.

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