NFL COVID-19 updates: New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton to miss Sunday's game; 3 games postponed

Scooby Axson

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Friday.

The team says Payton is fully vaccinated but he will not coach in Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Payton is scheduled to return on Dec. 27 when New Orleans takes on the Miami Dolphins. According to NFL protocols, he is out unless he meets the requirements for fully vaccinated personnel to return. 

Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will take over the coaching duties against the Buccaneers. The Saints (6-7) essentially have to win their remaining four games to compete for a postseason spot in the NFC.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will miss Sunday's game after a positive COVID-19 test.

This is the second time that Payton has tested positive for the virus. In March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, Payton was one of the first in the NFL to acknowledge he had COVID-19.

NFL moves three weekend games to early next week

-- Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been moved to Monday. The game will be played at 5 p.m. as a part of a Monday night doubleheader with the Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears already scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.

Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney also tested positive. Clowney sat out Thursday's practice because an illness but had tested negative until Friday.

-- Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles, originally scheduled for Sunday, has been moved to Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.

After Washington announced starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke tested positive for COVID-19, joining backup QB Kyle Allen on the COVID reserve list, WFT now braces for a showdown with their divisional rival while having to turn to practice squad quarterback Kyle Shurmur — unless Allen is able to test out of protocol.

Garrett Gilbert and Jordan Ta'amu are the other two recent pickups at quarterback for Washington.

-- Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams, also originally schedule for Sunday, was moved to Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).

Nearly half of the active Rams players are on the COVID-19 list. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., safety Jordan Fuller, offensive lineman Rob Havenstein and linebacker Von Miller are among the 25 players.

Contributing: Mike Jones and Scooby Axson, USA TODAY Sports; Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal