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New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas, seven others test positive for COVID-19

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13), shown Dec. 23, 2018, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo Sept. 14 (UPI) — The status of Sunday’s divisional game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers is in question after eight members of the Saints organization…

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13), shown Dec. 23, 2018, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13), shown Dec. 23, 2018, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 14 (UPI) — The status of Sunday’s divisional game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers is in question after eight members of the Saints organization tested positive for COVID-19.

League sources told ESPN, NFL Media and NOLA.com on Tuesday that six offensive coaches, one player and a nutritionist recorded positive test results.

Later Tuesday, the Saints placed star wide receiver Michael Thomas on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Thomas, who currently is on the physically unable to perform list, isn’t eligible to return to practice until Week 7 at the earliest.

Thomas has been conducting his rehabilitation workouts in Fort Worth, Texas, with the Saints, who have been staging practices at TCU’s facility after Hurricane Ida displaced the team.

As of now, the Saints are operating under the league’s enhanced mitigation protocols. Under those protocols, the team faces mandatory masking inside facilities, daily COVID-19 testing, no in-person meetings and grab-and-go meals.

Under NFL protocols, vaccinated players and personnel can return when they provide two negative test results at least 24 hours apart while remaining asymptomatic. Unvaccinated players and personnel who test positive for the coronavirus must self-isolate for at least 10 days.

Saints head coach Sean Payton said earlier this off-season that his team’s coaching and personnel staffs were 100% vaccinated.

The Saints are set to play the Panthers at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. According to NFL Media, the Week 2 matchup currently is on as scheduled.

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