The New Orleans Saints reportedly won't play games at home in September. Saints coach Sean Payton said Tuesday that the team will be away from New Orleans as the city recovers from Hurricane Ida, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
If the team's absence from New Orleans is only limited to September, only one game would be impacted. The Saints were scheduled to take on the Green Bay Packers in New Orleans in Week 1. That game won't take place as planned, though the NFL has not announced an alternative site for the matchup yet.
Saints’ HC Sean Payton told reporters that the team will be away from New Orleans through September as the city recovers from Hurricane Ida. This means the regular-season week 1 Packers-Saints matchup is not expected to be played in New Orleans, as scheduled.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2021
If the Saints are cleared to return to New Orleans in October, the Saints could play their first home game in Week 4 against the New York Giants. That timeline isn't concrete, and things can change depending on how much progress is made after New Orleans was devastated by the storm.
Superdome avoids major damage following Hurricane Ida
The Saints' stadium — the Superdome — did not experience major damage as a result of Hurricane Ida. The Superdome sustained a "little window leak," according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, but that was the extent of the damage.
Despite that, it was assumed the Saints would not play their Week 1 game at home. On top of the damage and loss of power in the city, NFL stadiums require thousands of workers to staff games. Those workers may have evacuated or displaced as a result of the hurricane.
The Saints evacuated New Orleans in anticipation of the storm. The team is practicing at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, where the Cowboys play.