Sean Payton: 87% of Saints players reporting for voluntary workouts

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Early-summer workouts rarely see full attendance around the NFL, but there were added questions as to how many New Orleans Saints players would show up given this year’s hurdles. Between the persistent COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of team leaders like Drew Brees and Thomas Morstead, and the voluntary nature of these activities, it would have made sense to see participation take a dip. To say nothing of an announcement through the NFLPA that the Saints players planned to skip these training sessions.

So it’s refreshing to see that isn’t the case. Saints coach Sean Payton said Monday that 87% of the roster has reported for organized team activities, but they’ve made adjustments to focus on strength and conditioning. There won’t be any of the usual field work, which lines up with their approach to rookie minicamps in recent weeks; that was all conducted in classrooms and film study. At this stage, it doesn’t look like the Saints will hit the practice field until training camp, which isn’t unusual given the NFL’s landscape this year.

So there are a few absences here and there, which also isn’t unusual. Between players rehabbing injuries or dealing with family issues or simply enjoying a longer vacation, there are some exceptions. But the vast majority of the roster has shown up for work, and that will go a long way towards maintaining continuity when so much has changed around them.

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Even without Drew Brees, Saints still command a crowd with 5 prime time games