New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was the first NFL coach to test positive for coronavirus in March

By Jason Duaine Hahn
August 03, 2020 02:25 PM
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Doug Pederson
Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty

The 52-year-old head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles has tested positive for coronavirus, just weeks before the NFL is set to start their season in September.

Doug Pederson of the Eagles became the second known NFL coach to contract the virus nearly five months after New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton tested positive. In a statement posted to social media on Sunday, the team said Pederson isn't showing symptoms of the virus and is currently in isolation.

"We received confirmation this evening that Head Coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19," the Eagles said. "Pederson is asymptomatic and doing well. He is currently in self-quarantine and in communication with the team's medical staff."

"The organization is following the protocols established by the NFL and the NFLPA," they continued. "Any individuals in close contact with Pederson at our facility have been notified and will continue with daily testing procedures and compliance with all protocols before returning to the facility."

Pederson isn't the only person on the team to have been affected by coronavirus, which has infected more than 4.6 million Americans and killed over 155,330 as of Monday morning, according to a New York Times database.

Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson announced last week he was feeling "strong" after testing positive.

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Sean Payton of the Saints
| Credit: Rob Foldy/Getty

"I have tested positive for COVID-19, but feel strong and ready to go," Johnson said in a statement. "I have been working hard in preparing for a long, grueling season and have tried to take all the necessary precautions to build a safe and healthy environment during the sessions."

"I have and will continue to take this seriously and encourage everyone else to do so as well," he continued. "I will follow all protocols and I look forward to joining my teammates and coaches on the field soon."

When 56-year-old Payton tested positive in March, he cautioned others to take the virus — and the health of others — seriously.

“This is not just about social distancing,” Payton told ESPN. “It’s shutting down here for a week to two weeks. If people understand the curve, and understand the bump, we can easily work together as a country to reduce it.”

“Take a minute to understand what the experts are saying,” he added. “It’s not complicated to do what they’re asking of us. Just that type of small investment by every one of us will have a dramatic impact.”

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Payton said he experienced symptoms such as chills and a low-grade fever during his battle with the illness.

“I was fortunate to be in the minority, without the serious side effects that some have,” he told ESPN. “I’m lucky.”

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