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Saints hit by COVID-19
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Saints hit by COVID-19

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Six unidentified members of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff, a player and a nutritionist have tested positive for COVID-19, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke with The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team and NFL had not made a public statement about the matter. The names of those who tested positive were not expected to be released in the short term because of federal medical privacy laws.

The people said the entire Saints coaching staff had been vaccinated.

It is unclear how long those who tested positive will remain isolated from the team before they may return to the field or in-person meetings.

For now, the entire team is operating under the NFL’s enhanced mitigation protocols, meaning mandatory masking inside facilities, daily testing, no in-person meetings and grab-and-go meals.

The positive tests occurred in the wake of New Orleans’ 38-3 victory over Green Bay on Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida, where the game was moved from the Superdome in the wake of damage caused to southeast Louisiana by Hurricane Ida.

The Saints have spent the past two weeks practicing in the Dallas area and are scheduled to continue practicing at TCU this week before traveling to Carolina for their Week 2 game on Sunday. That game remains on track to go ahead as scheduled.

RAIDERS-RAVENS: After a premature bench-clearing celebration and a couple of blunders that almost cost the Raiders the game, the party could finally begin for real after the first game with fans in Las Vegas.

The Raiders won an exhilarating and exhausting season opener thanks to a furious rally, a stellar defensive play from Carl Nassib and a perfect play call that produced a 31-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Zay Jones that gave the Raiders a 33-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.

“Felt like I died and woke up. And died. And woke up again,” coach Jon Gruden said. “I was like a cat — I had multiple lives.”

Carr engineered three game-tying drives in the fourth quarter and before winning it in the wild overtime.

He appeared to win it with a 33-yard TD pass to Bryan Edwards on the first possession of overtime only to have the celebration halted when replay put the ball at the 1.

An unsuccessful QB sneak, a false start from rookie Alex Leatherwood and then an interception that deflected off Willie Snead’s hands appeared to cost the Raiders the game.

Then Nassib delivered the strip sack of Lamar Jackson in his first game since becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay in the offseason.

“I’m really happy that we got we got the win on the day that kind of made a little bit of history,” Nassib said.

The Raiders then made another blunder by committing a delay of game before a field goal try, leading to Gruden sending the offense back on the field.

The Ravens sent a blitz and Carr lofted a pass that Jones ran under for the score, sending the Raiders pouring out on the field for a second celebration.

“I’m glad coach trusted us, put it in our hands at the end,” Carr said. “Because it always feels good to win that way, especially when you almost gave away.”

49ERS: Running back Raheem Mostert will undergo season-ending surgery on his knee after getting injured in the season opener.

Coach Kyle Shanahan had said Mostert was expected to miss eight weeks because of chipped cartilage in his knee, but Mostert announced on his Twitter account Tuesday that he will miss the rest of the season.

Mostert said he was “gutted” by the news, but after consulting with multiple doctors felt this was the best decision for his long-term future.

“This gives me, without a doubt in my mind, the best possibility at coming back 110%,” he wrote. “I have ALWAYS come back stronger and I will this time too! ... This is obviously not what I worked so hard for. I wish more than anything I could be out on the field with my brothers!!!”

The injury to Mostert is the second season-ending injury suffered by a key 49ers player already this year after the 2020 season was derailed by injuries. Cornerback Jason Verrett tore the ACL in his right knee in the season opener at Detroit.

The Green Bay Packers play the 49ers Sept. 26 in San Francisco.

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