New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will not play in Week 7. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints place Emmanuel Sanders on reserve/COVID-19 list

The New Orleans Saints will be without one of their top wide receivers on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, which isn't a good sign for their struggling offense. 

Saints head coach Sean Payton revealed Friday that Emmanuel Sanders has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Payton added that about 20 people near Sanders were tested and their results came back negative. However, cornerback Ken Crawley also has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list based on close contact with Sanders. 

Sanders has begun to develop a strong connection with veteran quarterback Drew Brees over the past couple of weeks, so losing him with a 3-2 record isn't ideal. The 33-year-old has 6 receptions for 304 yards and two touchdowns this season. He has become one of Brees' top targets over the last few weeks with Michael Thomas out. 

Speaking of Thomas, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year also is a "long shot" to play on Sunday after suffering a hamstring injury during practice this week. 

If New Orleans is without both Sanders and Thomas, Brees will have to rely on Tre'Quan Smith, Bennie Fowler, Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway.  

The Saints haven't lost to the Panthers since 2018, but that could change on Sunday if New Orleans struggles on offense. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. Although many think Boston sports fans are insufferable, Erin tries to see things from a neutral perspective. Her passion is hockey, and she believes defense wins championships. In addition to covering sports for Yardbarker, she covers Boston sports for NBC Sports Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90

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