NFL New Orleans Saints

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Victim of His Own ‘China Doll’ Joke After Suffering Leg Injury

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was one of the surprise members of the team’s injury report last weekend after suffering a broken leg and torn MCL when tight end Jimmy Graham was tackled into him on the sidelines. Over the years, the head coach has been known to hand out china dolls to his injured players (indicating they were “fragile”) and now that he’s the injured one–it looks like Payton has become the victim of his own joke.

According to Dan Hanzus of, Payton received the china doll from Saints cornerback Tracy Porter–who was the last member of the team to receive the fragile object–along with plenty of other gifts as he recovers from his serious injury. Porter missed part of training camp while recovering from knee surgery and thought it would be funny to get his head coach back by giving back his gift–along with a message that said, “Return to Sender.”

Here’s what Payton had to say about receiving the china doll courtesy of Hanzus:

“A china doll’s very fragile, and it’s rare that you don’t have one that’s not broken, an arm or something, so early in the season, I had to place that china doll on the lockers of a few of our players, and when I got home last night here in the building, there were a lot of cookies, balloons, a lot of cool stuff and then on my desk was a note with that return to sender, so our players and coaches and everybody have been great. Certainly I appreciate all your support.”

Due to the injury, Payton will be coaching the next few games from the booth while recovering from surgery to avoid any risk of further injury. Payton’s first game in the booth will take place on Sunday night in the national spotlight as the 4-2 Saints host the 0-6 Indianapolis Colts.

Dan Parzych is the Lead NFL Content Editor for,  where he writes and edits NFL content for

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