Displaced by the hurricane Ida, the New Orleans Saints returned to work on Monday, about 500 miles from their training site, at the home of another NFL team.
Saints players and staff, along with about 120 family members, moved to north Texas ahead of the storm that made landfall south of New Orleans on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 240 km / h, leaving this whole region without electricity.
Head coach Sean Payton has revealed the team will train until Wednesday at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. This occurs before a scheduled break before the start of the season.
“We left apartments, condominiums, houses behind. These are all material things. Still, a lot of people are still there, Payton revealed. We had a team meeting to discuss certain topics. And then, you know, I think to a certain extent being able to train will be good for everyone, because from a distance you can’t do much. ”
The Saints are then expected to resume training next Monday, although Payton said it would be unrealistic to believe it will be at their facilities in Metairie, Louisiana, even though early reports from there indicated they had. overall fairly well weathered the storm.
Payton added that he has yet to hear anything about the season opener, scheduled for September 12 against the Green Bay Packers at the Superdome.
“Obviously we’ll have a plan B. And, you know, there’s probably a lot of other priority things that are more important to our city,” Payton said.
We’re planning to start the season against the Packers, and then the question would be where the game takes place.
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints head coach
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’s office has described the damage to the region’s power grid as “catastrophic,” and officials have warned that it could be weeks before the power is completely out. restored.
When Ida rushed into the Gulf of Mexico with a projected path to the Gulf Coast region, the Saints’ third and final preseason game scheduled at the Superdome last Saturday was called off.
They therefore only played two preparatory matches and had to travel for the last training sessions before the final reduction of the formation to 53 players on Tuesday.
The arrival ofIda occurred 16 years to the day after Katrina devastated New Orleans. The Saints had been forced to move throughout the 2005 season, settling in San Antonio while playing home games there and at Baton Rouge. They had also played a “home” game at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.
The Saints compiled a 3-13 record in 2005, but with the Superdome’s rapid overhaul, they rebounded with a 10-6 record and won the National Conference South Division title the following year.