Payton cleared to attend Saints game

6:24 PM, Oct 3, 2012   |    comments
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New York, NY (Sports Network) - Suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been given permission to attend the club's Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, according to a report on NFL.com.

Payton is currently serving a year-long suspension for his role in the Saints maintaining an illegal bounty program from 2009-2011, which included payments to players for inflicting game-ending injuries on competitors.

Payton, as well as assistant head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis, were to avoid any contact with the team during their ban, but quarterback Drew Brees lobbied commissioner Roger Goodell for the three to be in attendance Sunday as he tries to break Johnny Unitas' record of 47 straight games with a touchdown pass.

"Commissioner Goodell has granted that permission," read the statement on NFL.com. "Coaches Payton and Vitt and Mickey Loomis will be permitted to watch the game in a private area of the stadium and will have no contact with the team."

Loomis was suspended eight games while Vitt will take over as interim head coach in Week 8. The Saints have lost their first four games under offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

Last Sunday, the NFL allowed Gregg Williams to see his son coach for the Rams in their game against the Seahawks. Williams, the Saints' defensive coordinator during the bounty scandal, was suspended indefinitely by the league this offseason.

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