The New Orleans Saints just announced an update on the condition of coach Sean Payton, who suffered a broken leg and a torn knee ligament in a sideline collision with tight end Jimmy Graham early in Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay.
The Saints said Payton underwent successful surgery at Ochsner Medical Center to repair a left tibia fracture and lateral meniscal tear. The surgery was performed by Dr. Deryk Jones, who was assisted by Dr. Misty Suri. The surgery lasted three hours.
“The surgery went very well,” said Saints Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Deryk Jones. “We plan to keep him overnight tonight for observations and have him home tomorrow. I anticipate Coach Payton returning to the office sometime Wednesday or Thursday. The recovery period for this type of surgery is three to six months. I would anticipate him being able to put partial weight on it in about eight weeks.”
After Sunday’s game, Payton said he probably will have to work from the coaches’ box during games as he recovers. Payton should be able to supervise practices once he returns, but his initial plan already has been thrown off course.
Payton said Sunday he hoped to be back at work Tuesday, but Jones made it sound like it will take at least a day or two longer. Although having the head coach absent is never a good thing, the Saints have a veteran staff that should be able to go through the normal Tuesday routine of putting together a game plan.
Longtime NFL coach Joe Vitt is Payton’s assistant head coach and it’s likely he’ll oversee the entire team in Payton’s absence. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is a former head coach and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael is viewed as a rising star in NFL circles.