The Saints final injury report came out Friday as the Saints get ready to take on the Falcons in a week one rivalry matchup. While the report does have Michael Thomas listed as questionable, it’s more than likely that the 2019 offensive player of the year plays Sunday for the first time since January 17th 2021.
The injury report also listed three other Saints as questionable including J.T. Gray (hamstring), Landon Young (hip), and Tyrann Mathieu (illness). In addition to that three players were listed as out: Tre’Quan Smith (groin), Paulson Adebo (ankle), and Dwayne Washington (hamstring).
If you prefer to listen in on pods or videos rather than read, I cover everything in this article in this video:
Losing Paulson Adebo sucks but it’s not the worst thing right now. The Falcons don’t have the deepest receiver room so it’s not a huge loss. If the Saints were playing a more pass heavy team like the Rams or Bucs and it was the middle of the year, Adebo might play through it.
Playing through an injury when your 85% healthy for a game that could determine playoff positioning is different than going into week one 85%. It’s a long season for these guys so it’s important to make sure that they’re 100% to start off the season when they do play.
I expect Adebo to be more active on the injury report next week against Tampa.
Who fills in
With the Saints missing three guys on Sunday there are going to be a few guys who need to step up. At corner the obvious choice to fill in for Adebo is Bradely Roby which leaves nickel open. With the expected run heavy offensive set from the Falcons it makes sense to have Justin Evans fill in at nickel.
Evans looked good in the preseason at nickel in both coverage and run support. When he hits he hits hard and is a very aggressive player which is important in a game like this. This would make things a bit more interesting at safety if Tyrann can’t play, whose current status is 50/50 right now.
The safeties would look like P.J. Williams and Marcus Maye which isn’t bad. It’s just not what Saints fans expected. Whether or not Tyrann plays I believe that defensive back Vincent Gray is elevated from the practice squad. Gray can play anywhere in the defensive backfield and looked sharp in the preseason.
On the offensive side of the ball with Smith and Washington out, Kirk Merritt is someone who I believe will be activated onto the gameday roster. Merritt can play both running back and wide receiver which makes it a two for one special. The Saints won’t need to sign two guys but rater just one.
Jimmy Graham reunion?!
There is no doubt that tight end has been a huge concern for the Saints. It’s one of the biggest question marks on the team. As Adam Trautman looks to develop a possible veteran presence could help that process.
Jarvis Landry has officially changed his number from 80 to 5 and it looks like Jimmy Graham is keeping an eye on it:
While Graham is an aged veteran a possible reunion could be in the works if the current tight end situation doesn’t pan out how the Saints wanted it to. Graham could potentially help Johnson or Trautman become better weapons in the passing game. Time will tell how the situation plays out. The Saints current tight end room consist of Adam Trautman, Juwan Johnson, Taysom Hill, and Nick Vannett.
Saints workout some guys
The Saints held nine guys in for a visit and workout Friday. None of the names stood out but it could be a scenario where down the line when players get injured the Saints sign some of these guys to the practice squad or roster.
Written by Kadin Janisch
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