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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees gestures in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees gestures in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton yells to his team in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton yells to his team in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

Saints return to New Orleans delayed

Last Modified: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 5:08 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A flight delay is forcing the New Orleans Saints to spend much of Tuesday in the air instead of starting preparations for Sunday night's pivotal NFC South clash with the Carolina Panthers.

Team officials did not specify what caused the delay but spokesman Doug Miller confirmed the Saints were still waiting to leave Seattle at around 11 a.m. EST.

With a flight of more than four hours crossing two time zones, the Saints were not expected to land until mid- to late-afternoon.

New Orleans lost 34-7 to the Seahawks on Monday night, and then was forced to spend the night in Seattle rather than fly home overnight.

The loss dropped the Saints into a tie with the Carolina Panthers atop the NFC South Division at 9-3.

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