Sean Payton can attend Sunday's game

October, 3, 2012
10/03/12
10:58
PM ET
There is pretty major news on the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday night.

Payton
Payton
ESPN’s Ed Werder reports that the NFL has granted quarterback Drew Brees' request to have suspended coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt attend Sunday night’s game with the San Diego Chargers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

This is a significant game because Brees needs one touchdown pass to set a new record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass. He’s tied with Johnny Unitas at 47 straight games. The game is also special to Brees because he was drafted by the Chargers, but the team let him go after the 2005 season because there was uncertainty about the health of his shoulder.

Payton, who was hired in 2006 by the Saints, was willing to take a chance on Brees’ shoulder and they’ve turned into one of the league’s best quarterback/coach tandems.

The league suspended Payton for the full season, Loomis for eight games and Vitt for six games for their roles in the alleged bounty scandal. During the suspensions, Payton, Loomis and Vitt have not been allowed to have contact with the team, other than a brief visit by Payton at the Hall of Fame Game.

I’m sure the NFL isn’t going to let the trio on the sidelines, but I don’t have any problem with the league making an exception and at least allowing Payton, Loomis and Vitt to at least be in the building.

They’ve played a major role in Brees getting to this historic moment and they at least deserve to witness it.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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