The concussion Coby Fleener sustained against the Rams last week induced the Saints to place their starting tight end on IR, Nick Underhill of The Advocate tweets.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported this week Fleener’s concussion could linger. He was declared out for this week. To replace Fleener on the 53-man roster, the Saints promted tight end Garrett Griffin from their practice squad, Rapoport tweets.
The Saints also waived cornerback De’Vante Harris, per Herbie Teope of NOLA.com (on Twitter), and promoted cornerback Arthur Maulet from the practice squad.
Fleener has not missed a game since his rookie season, suiting up for all 16 of the Colts’ contests from 2013-15 and each of the Saints’ games last season. He played in 11 New Orleans tilts this year prior to a nasty Blake Countess hit in Los Angeles.
The former second-round pick has become a lower-end target for Drew Brees this season, averaging 26.8 yards per game, but still leads the Saints’ tight ends by a healthy margin. Fleener caught two touchdown passes this season, but it will mark by far his lowest receiving output since his rookie year. He finished with 631 air yards last season. Josh Hill, Michael Hoomanawanui and now Griffin comprise the tight end contingent on New Orleans’ active roster.
Fleener is under contract through the 2020 season.
Harris played in all 11 Saints games this season, starting one. The 2016 UDFA recorded 15 tackles and deflected two passes. Maulet played in one career game, against the Panthers in Week 3. He may well have a chance to play a second against the Panthers on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.