The NFL will play a 17-game regular season schedule this season and that change also led to a change in how the preseason is going to look.
For teams not playing in the Hall of Fame Game, there will now be three preseason games instead of four. That fourth game rarely featured players who were expected to play a role for the team in the fall and there’s been discussion about whether teams will now treat the third game that way.
On Tuesday, Saints head coach Sean Payton was asked about the change during a press conference and said he plans to treat the game the same way they did in past seasons.
“I don’t know that it helps or hurts, it’s just, it is what it is,” Payton said. “It’s the schedule change. It is unique this year, there’s a few days required for the players to be off. And then the plus would be an additional week to recover from any injury that took place. But we’ll approach the third preseason game, just like we have in the past, we’ll play a lot of players so that that won’t become the new last one. That’ll still be the third one.”
With a quarterback competition going on, the Saints will likely want to see Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston taking as many snaps as possible to evaluate them. Based on Payton’s answer, that view will include the team’s final preseason game of the summer.