Once Payton revealed the news, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, shared more information on how Payton may have come down with the disease. "Sean Payton, who attended a race at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, felt like he was coming down with a cold and wasn't feeling right," Rapoport said. "Got tested, and was found to have the coronavirus. It sounds like he's feeling better now."
Saints’ HC Sean Payton tested positive for the coronavirus, he told ESPN on Thursday. Payton is the first person in the NFL world known to test positive for the virus.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2020
Payton has been the Saints head coach since 2006 and he led the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2009. Last year, the Saints finished with a 13-3 record and they won the NFC South for the third consecutive year. However, the team came up short in the playoffs as they lost the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
"Obviously, (it was) a difficult loss," Payton said after the loss to the Vikings per the team's official website. "I felt, really, at the end of the day, that they made a few more plays, enough more plays than we did. It took us a while offensively to get going. I think that they did a handful of things to, kind of hinder us in the running game. We finally gained a little bit of momentum in the second half. I thought that defensively we held up. Tip your hats to Minnesota; they deserved to win. It's always difficult when it happens in the playoffs. There is no follow-up game, so you go from there."
Along with winning the Super Bowl, Payton was named Coach of the Year in 2006 and he has won a total of 131 games as the head coach of the Saints which is the most in franchise history. Currently, the NFL is in its offseason, so the league doesn't need to postpone or suspend the season which is the situation with the NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL and Major League Soccer.