Sean Payton Recovered from Coronavirus


Jarrett Bell, pro football writer for USA TODAY and an at-large member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, this week published a feature article on Sean Payton, coach of the New Orleans Saints.

Payton has been in the news as a member of the NFL fraternity dealing directly with the COVID-19 infection. He entered a period of self-quarantine in mid-March after contracting the virus and a few days ago was cleared by doctors and deemed to have recovered fully.

Here are a few excerpts from Bell’s article:

For years, Payton, 56, has been one of the most compelling and engaging figures to talk to in NFL circles, largely because he has a way of wrapping his candor with wit and panache. Yet hearing Payton declare that he is “100% recovered” (and cleared by doctors) from coronavirus provided another type of context as he detailed information from the Centers for Disease Control that he seemed as familiar with as, say, a play where Drew Brees has an option of throwing to Michael Thomas on a drag pattern or Alvin Kamara streaking on a seam route.

“Each day we hear of someone else – an athlete, a politician, or someone who is ordinarily newsworthy who has contracted the virus,” (Payton) said. “Look, as this thing hit the world, it obviously doesn’t have any boundaries in terms of who it can effect.”

Payton felt good enough on Sunday to go for a three-mile run, and he planned to do likewise on Monday. He said the symptoms were at their worst two weeks ago, when he returned from a trip to Arkansas where he attended a racetrack and watched one of Bill Parcells’ horses perform. He had flu symptoms, chills, aches and for one day, he said, a low-grade fever. After being tested on March 16, he said the worst of his symptoms had subsided by the time he received confirmation of the test results on March 19.

For Bell’s complete feature on Payton, including a look at a few of the coach’s favorite plays from his playbook, click here.