Payton joined 105.3 WWL in Louisiana on Wednesday to update his health, saying he’s “doing well” now that symptoms of the illness have subsided.
“I was cleared yesterday,” he said. “It was quite a process. You spend a lot of time trying to learn as much as you can about it. You see it on the news 24/7 … (Sunday night) is when I first began to feel some flu-like symptoms. You know when you start to feel the chills? Then Monday morning, they were certainly a little more significant. I had a low-grade fever, and the chills were back. That’s when I had my test, on Monday. Basically quarantined at the house. I didn’t get the test results back for quite a bit.
“When you’re basically at home with the symptoms that I had, 85 to 90 percent of people will have mild symptoms and recover fully. The CDC basically puts out, prior to getting cleared, (that) you have to be three days fever-free … (and) a week from when you first felt symptoms. I’m closer to 10 days now. I’ve been fortunate … I’m feeling a lot better.”
The 56-year-old Payton became the first known member of the NFL community to test positive for coronavirus upon revealing his diagnosis to ESPN shortly after the start of free agency. He was optimistic about a full recovery at that time but still used the opportunity to encourage others to adhere to government warnings and practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.