Saints' Sean Payton Let's Quarantine 50K Fans For Playoff Game!!! ... 'It Can Be Done'

Breaking News
THINKING BIG
New Orleans Saints

Ludicrous idea from Sean Payton ... the New Orleans head coach wants to test and quarantine 50,000 (!!!) Saints fans so they can safely pack the Superdome for N.O.'s playoff game this weekend.

For real.

The 57-year-old former Super Bowl champ made the revelation on a phone call with reporters Wednesday ... saying he's dead serious about making a virus-free playoff game in Louisiana on Sunday.

"I've brought up the idea of testing 50,000 people and quarantining them in a hotel and having like the most safest Superdome known to man, scientifically,” Payton said.

“Bus them, they’ve tested every day, and you’ve got a COVID-free facility. I think that's possible.”

Payton sure sounded like he's got team officials looking into the idea ... and when asked how progress is coming -- the coach made it clear he thinks it's still a legitimate possibility.

"It can be done," Payton said. "It can be done."

FYI -- the Saints are slated to play the Chicago Bears at 1:40 p.m. PT on Sunday ... and for now, only a limited number of fans (reportedly a cap of 3,000) will be allowed to attend.

So, if Payton's plan is going to work, better get the rapid tests moving ASAP!

By the way, Payton knows firsthand just how dangerous the virus is ... he was one of the first stars in the NFL to contract COVID back in March -- suffering from chills, fever and fatigue before ultimately recovering.

Willie Roaf Taysom Hill Can Take Over For Brees in 2021 ... He's Like Kyler & Lamar

Exclusive
A LOT OF POTENTIAL
TMZSports.com

Legendary Saints OL Willie Roaf says he's confident Taysom Hill can take over for Drew Brees in 2021 if necessary ... telling TMZ Sports the QB has all the tools to be great.

"Taysom Hill has looked good," Roaf says. "He's played well. He's got a lot of potential."

Brees just took the starting reins back from Hill last Sunday after returning from his rib and lung injuries ... but he didn't look sharp in a loss to the Chiefs, and now, the questions about his future in New Orleans are swirling again.

Many are wondering if the 41-year-old will hang it up after this season ... and if so, would Sean Payton be comfortable going into 2021 with Hill under center?

Roaf thinks it's all certainly possible ... telling us 30-year-old Hill has similar traits to star QBs like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray.

"He's in the mold of the young guys," Roaf says. "He uses his legs. He's a big guy. He's like a running back. But, he can throw the ball."

Roaf added he doesn't believe the Saints need to draft any signal callers this offseason.

But, the N.O. legend did advise Payton to give a longer look at Jameis Winston next season ... saying the former #1 overall pick could be a viable option to replace Drew one day too.

Willie Roaf Praises Drew Brees For Playing ... 'One Of The Toughest Guys Ever!!!'

Exclusive
THE TOUGHEST OUT THERE
TMZSports.com

Willie Roaf says he ain't surprised Drew Brees is returning so soon from a punctured lung and broken ribs ... telling TMZ Sports the QB is one of the baddest dudes to ever suit up in the NFL!!

"Drew Brees is probably one of the toughest guys mentally you're going to meet to ever play," Roaf says. "He's focused, he's ultra-competitive and it just motivates him."

Brees busted up his core in back-to-back games just a couple weeks ago ... cracking some ribs against the Bucs on Nov. 8 and doing even more damage a week later.

41-year-old Drew took a big hit early in the Saints' win over the 49ers ... and it was later revealed the shot punctured his lung and fractured even MORE ribs.

Most thought the dude would miss around two months ... but Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed Friday that Brees would be under center for the huge New Orleans-Kansas City tilt on Sunday.

And, when we spoke to Roaf about it all ... the legendary offensive lineman told us if the team cleared the QB to play, then people shouldn't worry too much about him.

"If he can deal with the pain and it's not gonna get worse -- he's not going to get injured -- I guess they're saying he's OK to play," Roaf said.

By the way, Roaf played for both the Chiefs and the Saints in his Hall of Fame career ... so, who's he got on Sunday?

He pleaded the fifth, but ya gotta watch the clip ... his answer is pretty damn funny!

Saints' Drew Brees Returning From Rib, Lung Injuries ... Starting QB on Sunday

Breaking News

Drew Brees is BACK as the starting QB for the Saints -- just 4 weeks after being diagnosed with 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung!!!

The 41-year-old has missed the past 4 games due to the injuries -- and just this week, head coach Sean Payton suggested it would be another week or so before Brees was back under center.

But ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday morning that Brees has been cleared by doctors and will start at QB on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brees is NOT back to 100%, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini who says Drew is still dealing with soreness but plans on toughing it out.

"I was told that Drew has had a really strong week at practice," Russini said on "Get Up" ... "It started on Monday afternoon with trainers. They didn't expect him to look as good as he did. But they said he's sharp, he's healthy."

As for the soreness, Russini explained it this way -- "It's not so much about the health on the field, it's the next day -- dealing with that soreness."

"And while there is soreness there, [my source] made it very clear Drew is not 100%. He's more in the 85% to 90% range, he's able to handle it ... it's not something that's too overwhelming for Drew Brees."

The Saints are 10-3 and in 1st place in the NFC South -- 2 games ahead of Tom Brady's TB Bucs.

Drew Brees Still Has 'A Ways to Go' In Recovery from Punctured Lung, Broken Ribs

Breaking News

Drew Brees ain't out of the woods yet -- the QB still has "a ways to go" before he'll return to the field after breaking 11 ribs and suffering a punctured lung.

... so says New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton who told reporters the plan is to continue to be patient with Drew to make sure he can properly heal up.

41-year-old Brees has already missed 4 games due to the injuries -- which he reportedly suffered over the course of 2 games, Week 9 against the Bucs and Week 10 against the 49ers.

Payton was asked Wednesday if there was a chance Brees would be able to play on Sunday's Week 15 matchup against the Chiefs ... but that's seemingly out of the question.

"He's got a ways to go still, and he's someone we're not gonna just hurry back and just put him in the game," Payton said.

"I think the significance of the injuries are such that you've gotta make sure he can function and feel confident."

The good news ... Brees says he's making significant progress and hopes to be back soon.

"Each week I feel better," Brees told Cox Sports Television on Sunday night.

"I obviously have a plan in place as to the benchmarks that I need to hit in order to get to where I know that I can play and play effectively for this team. And all I can say is I'm close."

"There's a recovery element. There's a strength element. And I'll know when that time comes."

The Saints are 10-3 and still in 1st place in the NFC East.

Cameron Jordan & Demario Davis Saints Stars Praise Broncos' Hinton ... After Beating Brakes Off QB

Breaking News

Imagine going 1-for-9 for 13 yards and two interceptions ... and receiving PRAISE???

That's exactly what happened this week ... 'cause after Denver Broncos QB Kendall Hinton laid down a historically awful performance against the Saints on Sunday, some of New Orleans' stars raced to his defense to salute him for the effort.

Here's the deal if you missed it ... Denver's entire quarterback room was forced out of Sunday's tilt at Mile High due to coronavirus protocols -- which lurched Hinton into emergency QB duties.

Hinton -- who had played QB most of his college career at Wake Forest -- clearly wasn't ready for the role, especially considering he'd been nothing but a wideout since making the NFL.

The undrafted rookie amassed just 20 total yards of offense despite being under center the entire game ... and his lone completion in the 31-3 blowout only traveled a few yards in the air.

But, instead of clowning the dude for one of the worst QB performances in the history of the league ... Cameron Jordan and Demario Davis respected the hell out of him for the game.

"He handled this situation like a real pro," Davis said. "I can only imagine the range of emotions and mental download he went through in 24 hrs. #Salute"

Added Jordan, "Helluva situation to be in... No shade at all... RESPECT breh"

For their part, the Broncos were complimentary of Hinton's game as well ... writing on their team Twitter page, "Undrafted rookie WIDE RECEIVER @Kendall_Hinton2 came off the practice squad, had zero practice reps and competed in his first NFL game as the Broncos’ QUARTERBACK—an unprecedented situation. He deserves all the respect."

The Broncos' original starter, Drew Lock, is expected to return from coronavirus protocol in time to face the K.C. Chiefs this weekend.

Drew Brees QB Has Collapsed Lung & Broken Ribs ... After Violent Hit

Breaking News

Drew Brees is hurting like hell today ... medical tests on the New Orleans Saints QB reportedly revealed he's dealing with multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung.

The 41-year-old was forced to leave Sunday's win over the 49ers after he took a huge hit in the 2nd quarter ... and ESPN's Ed Werder says X-rays Monday showed the dude's ribs are jacked up.

Brees suffered 2 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung thanks to the hard tackle by Kentavius Street, Werder reports.

Werder added doctors also discovered Brees had 3 other fractured ribs from a hit he took against Tampa Bay on Nov. 8.

Unclear how long Brees will need to fully heal ... but it's apparent the quarterback won't be under center any time in the near future.

Which means ... is it Jameis Winston time now in New Orleans?

Winston filled in for Brees after the future Hall of Famer left Sunday's game ... and he played OK, completing six of his 10 passes for 63 yards.

The Saints could also turn to gadget QB/TE/RB Taysom Hill to be their signal-caller in Brees' stead.

Adjust your fantasy lineups accordingly ... and get better soon, Drew!

Drew Brees So Far From Washed It Ain't Funny ... Says Teammate Demario Davis

Exclusive
HE'S STILL A BEAST
TMZSports.com

"If I'm putting together a roster, that's the type of quarterback that I want."

Saints star Demario Davis is going to bat for Drew Brees ... telling TMZ Sports he sees absolutely no decline in the QB's game whatsoever.

In fact, the linebacker says he believes the critics who are calling the 41-year-old washed are actually FUELING Drew to a monster season this year.

"You can see him channeling it," Davis told us of how Brees is handling the criticism.

The QB began the year not looking quite like himself -- he was checking down a lot and not exactly pushing the ball up the field at will -- and it had many wondering if Brees was done.

Things got so dicey for a while there ... some called for backup Jameis Winston to take over the starting reins in New Orleans.

But, Brees has turned things around recently -- the Saints are now proud owners of a 5-game win streak -- and Davis says he ain't surprised one bit.

"I don't know where the negative feedback be coming from," Davis says. "If people just look at the numbers, he's been as efficient this year as he's ever been."

"And when you look at somebody that's able to do that week in week out, go out there and be that efficient, if I'm putting together a roster, that's the type of quarterback that I want."

Through 8 games so far this season, Brees has 2,120 passing yards, 17 passing TDs and just 3 INTs. His QB rating is a whopping 110.3.

"He's the reason why we've had as much success as we had," Davis told us.

There's more ... Davis also spoke with us about the presidential election results -- and he even offered up a message of encouragement to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris!

PUSHIN' TOWARDS PROGESS
TMZSports.com

Sean Payton Coach Dances His Face Off ... After Saints Dismantle Tom Brady's Bucs

Breaking News

The Saints' blowout win over Tom Brady's Buccaneers was so massive even Sean Payton had to get in on the post-game dance party ... and the vid of coach cutting a rug is epic!!

Just minutes after New Orleans finished off drubbing Tampa Bay, 38-3 ... the guys put on some music in the locker room and began a celebration.

The dudes were HYPED -- Jameis Winston was eating W's and Saints players all over the room were getting in on the dance train.

FYI -- if you're unfamiliar, the Winston dance is a throwback to his Bucs days ... remember when he tried to get his Tampa teammates to "eat a W" before one of their games against the Saints? What a throwback move!

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

But, just a few seconds into the fiesta ... Payton decided to join in -- and the 56-year-old didn't seem outta place!!!

Check out the footage wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith posted ... Payton bopped around with his players and even got in a little footwork with star tackle Terron Armstead!!

Of course, Payton is no stranger to post-game dancing after big Ws ... remember when his 2018 locker room celebrations were so epic, they were immortalized in a hip-hop song??

Keep on getting down with your bad self, Coach ... ya definitely earned these moments!!

Bears' Javon Wims Suspended 2 Games ... For Unloading Haymakers On Saints Player

Breaking News

12:36 PM PT -- The NFL just dropped the hammer on Wims for the punches ... banning him TWO GAMES for the violence.

Wims is now set to miss the Bears' tilts against Tennessee and Minnesota ... though the league is giving him the option to appeal the suspension.

Chicago Bears WR Javon Wims uncorked TWO massive haymakers on a Saints player mid-game ... and the whole violent affair appeared to start because of a mouthpiece jacking.

Here's the deal ... early in the 3rd quarter of the Saints-Bears game in Chicago, Wims went to block Chauncey Gardner-Johnson -- and the two got into a bit of a tussle.

The guys trash-talked each other ... and, eventually, Gardner-Johnson ripped Wims' mouthpiece right off his facemask.

Wims was taken out for the remainder of the Bears' drive after the play ... but when his squad got the ball back -- he went to exact revenge on CGJ.

Check out the video of the play -- it's WILD -- Wims tried to grab Gardner-Johnson's mouthpiece, but when he missed ... he decided to throw 2 HUGE punches instead.

Both connected with CGJ's helmet ... and it kicked off a melee between the two teams.

Ultimately, the scrum was broken up and Wims was ejected ... and now, a big-time ban could be coming soon.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday the league is mulling a possible suspension for the wideout, and given his status as a role player on the Bears' roster ... his job might be in jeopardy too.

As for Gardner-Johnson, he definitely came out on top of the fight ... his Saints won, he didn't suffer any injuries in the brawl -- and he fired away at Wims on social media after the contest.

"That man punch like a female," CGJ said, before adding, "Bra cheap shot like a fee."

26-year-old Wims was picked by the Bears in the 7th-round of the 2018 NFL Draft ... and he's played in 28 games since, catching 27 passes and scoring 4 total TDs.

Originally Published -- 6:13 AM PT

NFL's Emmanuel Sanders Scared For Life After COVID Diagnosis ... 'Lord, Please'

Breaking News

"Every night I go to sleep I'm like, 'Lord, please, let me like wake up in the morning feeling good.'"

That's Saints star Emmanuel Sanders admitting he's scared to death of his COVID-19 diagnosis ... saying he's extremely worried his condition could deteriorate at any moment.

"Like, I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night and like, can’t breathe," Sanders said on the "17 Weeks" podcast this week. "And like, sh*t just goes south, right?"

"That’s like my biggest fear in watching that sh*t, it intensifies my fears, right?"

Sanders tested positive for coronavirus last Thursday ... and says he's been experiencing some pretty bad symptoms ever since, including fever, body aches and "loopy feelings."

The 33-year-old says his wife also came down with the illness ... explaining she, too, is feeling the effects.

"Like, it feels like we’re glitchy," the NFL receiver said. "Like when I’m walking it feels like if my wife was to talk to me, it feels like I’m skipping a beat every now and then."

"It's like the weirdest sh*t ever."

The Saints placed Sanders on the reserve/COVID-19 list and he missed last week's win over the Panthers. He's already been ruled out of this week's game against the Bears.

"It's a situation that sucks, you know?" Sanders said. "I'm missing two games, but it is what it is."

Saints Owner Gayle Benson Stopped Attempted Carjacking ... 'She Was Very Shaken'

Breaking News

Saints owner Gayle Benson thwarted an attempted vehicle theft last weekend -- screaming at the perp until he fled -- and the team says she's "very shaken" over the incident.

It all went down in New Orleans while 73-year-old Benson was seated inside her car.

Cops say someone in a white Nissan Titan pulled up next to her around 2:15 p.m. on Oct. 10 ... and tried to get into her car.

Cops have NOT said what kind of car Benson was in at the time of the incident -- but she's a billionaire, so we imagine it was nice.

Officials are convinced the man intended to steal Benson's car.

But, when the man entered Benson's vehicle, according to NOLA.com, Gayle screamed at him -- and ordered him to exit immediately, which he did.

Cops say the man got back into his Nissan Titan and fled the scene.

Cops were called ... and while an investigation has been launched, no arrests have been made at this point.

Benson's rep issued a statement confirming the incident -- adding, "while she was very shaken at the time, she was unharmed and is doing fine."

"She wanted to send her sincere gratitude to the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department that responded so quickly and professionally."

Cops are asking anyone with information to come forward or hit up the Crimestoppers hotline at 504-822-1111.

Benson became the owner of the Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018 following her husband Tom Benson's death.

Warren Moon Advice For Drew Brees ... Here's How I Dealt With Aging Arm

Exclusive
DREW'S NOT DONE
TMZSports.com

Drew Brees, listen up ... Warren Moon's got advice for winning football games despite declining arm talent -- telling TMZ Sports it's simple ... JUST TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!

Moon -- who famously played QB in the NFL until he was 44 years old -- says he knows EXACTLY what Brees is going through these days ... telling us the lack of velocity on the Saints star's passes is now apparent.

But, Moon says he knows there's a way for Drew to still be successful at 41 years old despite the issue ... saying the New Orleans QB just has to be mindful of his body going forward.

"The big thing is fatigue," Moon said. "Especially as the season goes along, you're only going to get that much more tired and your legs are going to lose that much more strength."

"So, you really have to be on top of how many reps you have in practice, how you're maintaining your body throughout the week, making sure you're not over-practicing yourself."

Moon also says Brees needs to make sure he's getting plenty of sleep ... because the Hall of Famer tells us when you're playing QB into your 40s -- being fresh on game days makes all the difference.

"That's what's going to make or break whether you have a great game or not is if you're rest that day," Moon says.

Warren, though, believes Drew is good enough to figure it all out ... telling us, "I don't think he's done!"

Music to Sean Payton's ears!

Saints' Emmanuel Sanders Brees Cried During Team Apology ... Over Anthem Stance

Breaking News

Saints WR Emmanuel Sanders says Drew Brees cried HARD during his apology to the team in the wake of his controversial anthem comments ... and now, Sanders says N.O. players have moved on.

The 33-year-old revealed on ESPN's "First Take" on Wednesday that he was initially pissed back in June when Brees said anthem kneelers were "disrespecting the flag."

But, Sanders claims the Saints had a team meeting over it all shortly after the QB's comments ... and he says Brees apologized vehemently through a mountain of tears.

"As he talked, the more and more he talked, you just see a guy with just tears rolling down his face," Sanders said.

"I mean, I've never seen that. You could just tell that he was hurt by his comments and the things that people were saying about him because he was unaware of it."

Emmanuel added, "I mean just tears flowing down his face."

Sanders says after that team conversation ... Saints players knew that Brees understood his mistake -- and have since moved on.

"We understood where he was coming from and we were able to move past it," Sanders says. "I don't see any weird energy going on in the locker room."

Sanders -- who signed with the Saints just a few weeks prior to Brees' comments -- added he's since come to know Drew as "one of the best teammates I've been around."

Sean Payton Helps Reporter W/ Mustard Stain After Hilarious Hot Mic Fail

Breaking News
CONDIMENT COUNSELING
@Saints / Twitter

Sean Payton was hit with all the hard questions during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday ... and like a true pro, he had the answers to EVERYTHING -- even a pesky stain!!!

"Let me ask you a question," the reporter began -- not knowing everyone in the call could hear him -- "I spilled mustard on my suit..."

And, before the reporter was able to finish his thought -- or realize he wasn't muted -- the New Orleans Saints coach came through with some sound advice!!

"Generally with mustard, I'd use warm water," Payton said.

"I wanna use warm water, I don't wanna wipe it, I want to blot it and I want to treat it twice."

Of course, the embarrassed reporter quickly apologized for the hilarious blunder -- apologizing for having his mic on -- but Payton continued helping with his problem.

"You can't put it in the dryer on hot or it's going to be stained. If none of those things are working, seek outside help."

Great advice from Coach ... and good luck with the suit, guy!!

Drew & Brittany Brees Another $5 Million Donation ... Fighting COVID In Louisiana

Breaking News
HELP IS ON THE WAY

Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, are making another HUGE donation to help Louisiana during the COVID-19 pandemic -- donating $5 MILLION to build healthcare facilities throughout the state.

Remember, the New Orleans Saints superstar's family pledged $5 million to help feed the youth and elderly back in March ... and told TMZ Sports at the time, "We're gonna find a way to get through this together and take care of one another."

Now, the Brees fam is focusing on healthcare ... announcing the contribution Monday on Instagram.

"COVID19 has changed nearly everything," Brees says. "From the way that we work, to how our kids learn, to the way we play football."

"As we work through one of the greatest challenges of our lifetimes, our health and wellness has never been more important."

March 2020
HELP IS NEEDED
TMZ.com

"The Brees Dreams Foundation is proud to commit $5 million to support healthcare in Louisiana."

Brees says his foundation will work with Ochsner Health to bring health facilities to under-served cities throughout the state.

"These health centers will offer primary and specialty care to communities who need it most and promote health equity for all."

Brittany added ... "Our family is honored to help break down the barriers and give back to the incredible people of Louisiana."

Brees has reportedly made more than $231 million in contract money during his 19-year NFL career -- and just signed a new 2-year, $50 million extension with the Saints back in March.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!