METAIRIE — The NFL has granted permission for New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt to attend Sunday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
All three are currently suspended for their role in the bounty scandal with Payton serving a season-long ban, while Loomis and Vitt were suspended for eight and six games, respectively.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Wednesday night that Commissioner Roger Goodell granted permission for all three to be at the game in which quarterback Drew Brees will try to throw a touchdown in his 48th game in a row — breaking a tie for the NFL record he shares with Johnny Unitas.
“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,” Aiello said in an email to media outlets.
Goodell also allowed Payton to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in August when former Saints tackle William Roaf was enshrined.
In addition to possibly breaking the 52-year-old record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, Brees will reach another milestone with his 100th regular-season start in a Saints uniform.
Brees, who was signed in March 2006 after the Chargers chose not to re-sign him following a devastating shoulder injury, has only missed one game with the Saints.
That was the 2009 season finale when the team had already clinched the No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs.
With 29,744 passing yards in his first 99 games, Brees needs just 256 against his old team to reach the 30,000-yard mark with the Saints.
Five players did not participate when the Saints returned to the practice field Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday’s game.
The group included LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), WR Lance Moore (hamstring), SS Roman Harper (hip), DE Turk McBride (ankle) and RB Travaris Cadet (shoulder).
Interim coach Aaron Kromer said LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) was limited, while FS Malcolm Jenkins (hamstring) and DT Akiem Hicks (ankle) had full participation.
The Saints terminated the contract of cornerback Elbert Mack and signed wide receiver Greg Camarillo to take his place on the 53-man roster.
Camarillo, who was released last week when linebacker Ramon Humber returned from a three-game NFL suspension, may have been signed for depth in case Moore can’t play Sunday.
Wallace works out
Former Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace worked out with the Saints on Tuesday, but was not signed.
Kromer, who noted that backup quarterback Chase Daniel was fine, said Wallace threw to receivers the Saints had in for a workout as well.
As teams have done for the past three years, the Saints and Chargers will accentuate their uniforms with pink items Sunday to help kick off the NFL’s observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Held in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the NFL initiative called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives,” reminds women aged 40 and up about the importance of having yearly mammograms.
The Chargers returned some of their allotment of tickets for Sunday night’s game, which are available at www.TicketMaster.com.