Displaced by Hurricane Ida, the New Orleans Saints went back to work Monday about 500 miles away in the home of another NFL team.

Saints players and staff, along with about 120 family members, relocated to North Texas in advance of the storm that made landfall south of New Orleans on Sunday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, and left that entire area without power.

Coach Sean Payton said the team will practice through Wednesday at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. That comes before a previously planned break leading into the start of the regular season.

“Left behind are obviously apartments, condominiums, homes. Those are all physical things. Nonetheless, they’re still home for so many people,” Payton said Monday. “We had a team meeting this morning, kind of hit on some topics. And then, you know, I think to some degree that going out and being able to practice today is going to be good for everyone, because from afar, there’s only so much you can do.”

The Saints are then scheduled to resume practice next Monday, though Payton said that it would be unrealistic to believe that would be at their headquarters in Metairie, Louisiana, even though initial reports from people there indicated that the facility handled the storm “overall pretty well.”

Payton said he had heard nothing about the scheduled Sept. 12 season opener at home against the Green Bay Packers that is to be played in the Superdome.

“Obviously we’ll have a plan B. And, you know, there are a lot of other things probably from a priority standpoint that are more important for our city,” Payton said. “But that all being said, you know, we fully anticipate starting the regular season with Green Bay and then the question would be where that game’s at.”

The office of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has described damage to the area’s power grid appeared “catastrophic,” and officials warned it could be weeks before power is fully restored.

COVID-19: Fully vaccinated players will be required to get tested for COVID-19 weekly instead of every 14 days as part of the revised protocols for the regular season agreed upon by the NFL and NFLPA.

The weekly testing applies also for fully vaccinated Tier 1 and 2 staff. There’s an option for a second test for those who want it, according to a memo sent to clubs and obtained by The Associated Press.

Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wait for results prior to entering a team’s facility. Each club must conduct its testing over a three-day period.

Unvaccinated players will continue to be tested daily.

Each team’s non-player traveling party will be reduced to a maximum of 75 people. Masks must be worn during travel, eating “should be kept to a minimum” and seating will be assigned.

Also, public transportation is prohibited for everyone in the traveling party and unvaccinated players or staff may not use private transportation.
Last week, the NFL said 93% of players are vaccinated.

COLTS: Carson Wentz’s big week was cut short when the Indianapolis Colts put three starters including their top quarterback on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Wentz, center Ryan Kelly and receiver Zach Pascal join two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher on the sideline because of health and safety protocols. Fisher tested positive for the virus last week.

Three-time All-Pro Quenton Nelson was activated Monday after multiple negative tests. Nelson was deemed a close contact to Fisher.

Coach Frank Reich planned to use this week to test Wentz and Nelson, who both had foot surgery to remove a bone fragment. Both did limited work three straight days last week and were cleared for full action this week.

49ERS: Rookie quarterback Trey Lance will miss one week of practice after injuring a finger on his throwing hand during an exhibition game.

Lance was hit on his right thumb by the helmet of Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Max Richardson on Sunday. Lance remained in the game after the hit but got more tests done Monday that coach Kyle Shanahan said showed a “small chip fracture” in the finger. Shanahan said Lance is unable to take snaps and needs to rest for about seven days before he can return.

GIANTS-BENGALS: The New York Giants acquired center Billy Price from the Cincinnati Bengals in a trade for defensive lineman B.J. Hill.

Giants coach Joe Judge confirmed that Hill had been traded and the Bengals announced they acquired Hill for Price, the 21st pick overall in the 2018 draft.

JAGUARS-SEAHAWKS: The Seattle Seahawks added depth to their biggest position of concern, acquiring cornerback Sidney Jones IV from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Seattle’s cornerback position has emerged as one of the biggest unknowns for the Seahawks heading into the season. Jones is returning to the town where he was a star in college at Washington.

Jacksonville is expected to receive a late-round draft pick in the deal.

DOLPHINS: As speculation swirled Monday regarding the Miami Dolphins’ interest in embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson, Coach Brian Flores said the team wants players with “high character.” The Dolphins have declined to confirm or deny reports they have engaged in trade talks to acquire Watson, the Houston Texans’ star who has been accused of sexual assault and harassment in lawsuits filed by 22 women.

Watson and his lawyers have denied the accusations against him. No charges have been filed, but his availability this season is unclear, and Houston police and the NFL are investigating. Flores didn’t talk specifically about Watson, but discussed the Dolphins’ philosophy in acquiring players who need a fresh start.

“There are a lot of things we weigh when we’re making decisions – fit on the team, overall talent, salary cap,” Flores said. “When we’re talking about a player or players, we’re always trying to do what is best for the Miami Dolphins. There are a lot of variables. We want a group that is tough, smart, competitive, loves to play and is team first. Those are the types of guys we’re looking for.

“We have a high standard for the people we have in the organization. We want people with high character throughout the building.”

BILLS-PANTHERS: Buffalo relieved a logjam at defensive end by trading Darryl Johnson to the Carolina Panthers on Monday. Buffalo acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2022 draft in a trade completed a day before NFL teams are required to cut their rosters to 53 players.

Entering his third season with Buffalo, Johnson proved to be the odd-man out at a pass-rushing position the Bills spent the offseason restocking with talent. Buffalo used its first two draft picks on selecting defensive ends Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham, and also signed Efe Obada in free agency.

All three players, plus A.J. Epenesa, are expected to make Buffalo’s roster behind returning starters Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison.

LIONS: Ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to make final cuts, the Lions released veteran receiver Breshad Perriman, , who Detroit signed Perriman to a $3 million, one-year contract in March. He had 30 receptions for 505 yards and three touchdowns with the New York Jets last season, his fifth in the NFL.

Baltimore drafted him out of Central Florida with the No. 26 pick overall in 2015 and he has 125 catches for 2,066 yards and 14 touchdowns with the Ravens, Cleveland, Tampa Bay and the Jets. His father, Brett, was a standout receiver for the Lions in the 1990s.

• Detroit backup quarterback Tim Boyle broke his right thumb in the team’s preseason finale and needs surgery. Coach Dan Campbell made the announcement Monday, adding the team is hopeful it was not a season-ending injury. Boyle was hurt in Friday night’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Detroit acquired starting quarterback Jared Goff, a pair of first-round picks and a third-rounder from the Los Angeles Rams in a trade for Matthew Stafford. Third-year pro David Blough becomes Detroit’s No. 2 quarterback, heading into a Week 1 matchup at home against the San Francisco 49ers.

TITANS: The team’s virus outbreak has grown again with starting right guard Nate Davis added to the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Davis joined the list a day after starting center Ben Jones went on the list. Currently, nine Titans’ players are on the reserve/COVID-19 list with five of those starters including quarterback Ryan Tannehill and tight end Geoff Swaim. Outside linebacker Harold Landry III is the only defensive starter on the reserve list.

Tennessee opens the season Sept. 12 by hosting Arizona.

Coach Mike Vrabel remains in quarantine after saying he tested positive Aug. 22. He told reporters Monday morning he was “not aware” of any coaches or players returning from NFL protocols.

VIKINGS: The Minnesota Vikings were dealt their first injury setback of the season, with knee surgery scheduled for on-the-rise tight end Irv Smith Jr. that will likely sideline him for at least a few games.

Coach Mike Zimmer said Smith will have the procedure done this week by team physician Dr. Christopher Larson. The timetable for Smith’s return won’t be known until after the surgery on his meniscus, depending on how significant of a repair is required.


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