New kicker, snapper give Saints 'plan B' for COVID-19 issues

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The Saints signed kicker Blair Walsh and long snapper John Denney to their practice squad on Monday. New Orleans head coach Sean Payton explained the move as a contingency plan.

“Where are we going if all the running backs have COVID or have close contacts?” Payton used as an example. “Well, fortunately, Ty (Montgomery) is over with the receivers and that’s who we are going to use. So it’s really just that.

“We have a punter in the building as a plan B and now we have a long snapper and a kicker.”

Payton said the move was made now due to the COVID-19 protocols regarding signing new free agents.

“The on-boarding process doesn’t match an injury or COVID process,” he said. “And I don’t really feel like trying to kick or hold or snap. So it allows us to have them in the building and put ‘em to practice squad and then shuffle the roster a little. And if something were to happen to one of our specialist positions the answer is here and we’ve got some flexibility.”

Payton said Walsh and Denney will mostly work away from the rest of the team in order to further incubate them in case of COVID-19 related issues.

Walsh is six-year NFL veteran who last played in 2017 with the Seattle Seahawks and the 42-year-old Denney played 14 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, last appearing with the franchise in 2018.