Saints to leave early for Chicago

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints will leave for Chicago a day early on Friday evening to avoid any possible weather hassles from looming Tropical Storm Karen. The storm, which is currently forming over the Gulf of Mexico, isn’t expected to be major. But it could affect the team’s ability to fly on Saturday.

The only change to the Saints’ practice routine will come Saturday, when they will hold their pregame walk-through practice in the Chicago area instead of their home facility. Coach Sean Payton said they don’t intend to practice at Soldier Field.

These kind of adjustments are nothing new to the Saints, who have made several more grand-scale evacuations because of hurricanes of the years. In 2005, they spent an entire season in San Antonio following Hurricane Katrina. Last year, they relocated to Cincinnati for a few days during the preseason to avoid Hurricane Isaac. And in 2008, they moved to Indianapolis for a week to avoid Hurricane Gustav.