Two more Saints coaches held out of Panthers game due to COVID-19 protocols

© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Nielsen might have been the best hire the Saints made when they overhauled their defensive staff a couple years back. The former N.C. State assistant and recruiting coordinator has done tremendous work with raw talents like David Onyemata and undrafted rookies such as Shy Tuttle, Malcolm Roach, and Taylor Stallworth. He’s an energetic presence who relishes instruction time with his players, and a smart team would pursue him for a defensive coordinator opening.

The hits just keep coming. The fully-vaccinated New Orleans Saints coaching staff has been managing a series of breakthrough COVID-19 cases, and on Saturday the team announced two more coaches will miss Sunday’s away game with the Carolina Panthers: defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen and his assistant Brian Young. Both coaches must return negative test results in two consecutive days before they may rejoin the team.

However, one coach who was previously sidelined by COVID-19 protocol was cleared to return: offensive line coach Brendan Nugent. That brings the total to 8 coaches out of the 25-strong coaching staff remaining away from the team. Hopefully everyone’s symptoms are mild.

New Orleans has been fortunate to prevent this outbreak from spreading to the players; only Michael Thomas has landed on the COVID-19 reserve list so far, and he was already out of action with a physically unable to perform (PUP) designation after offseason ankle surgery.


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