Adam Trautman

Saints Rule Out Five Starters For Week 7

While their opponent has added a pair of contributors in DeAndre Hopkins and Robbie Anderson, the Saints will come into Thursday down five more starters than they were hoping for, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Injuries continue to plague New Orleans as it has ruled out wide receivers Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, tight end Adam Trautman, guard Andrus Peat, and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

Peat suffered a pectoral strain, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Saints have not placed the eighth-year blocker on IR, but he is week-to-week at this point. Thomas also remains on the team’s active roster, but the team considered placing him on IR due to the foot injury he sustained, Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com tweets. The Saints instead opted to keep Thomas active in case he beat his recovery timetable. After missing just two games over his first four seasons, Thomas has now missed 28 games since 2020.

The Saints, who were hoping to get back Thomas from a three-week absence and Landry from a two-week absence, will now go into their Week 7 matchup with the Cardinals missing two of their starting slate of receivers for the third week in a row. Rookie first-round pick Chris Olave is set to return after missing time last week with a concussion that knocked him out of the team’s Week 5 win over the Seahawks.

Olave is set to see a huge share of targets with Thomas and Landry out, as will backup receivers Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith. Behind star running back Alvin Kamara and Juwan Johnson, who transitioned to tight end in the NFL after playing wide receiver at Penn State, Callaway and Smith were the top targets last week for Andy Dalton, who has been filling in for injured starting quarterback Jameis Winston. When Olave was in the week before, he matched Kamara for the team lead in targets with six apiece. Smith and Callaway trailed the two with four and three, respectively.

Lattimore is also set to miss his second straight game with an abdomen injury. In his absence last week, the Saints asked veteran Bradley Roby to fill in opposite Paulson Adebo as a starting cornerback. They’re also able to get some help at corner from the practice squad with veteran defensive back Chris Harris who has been called up for two games so far this year.

The Saints will have tough hill to climb in a game that could be a big step in staying in the thick of the NFC South race. The five missing starters will be in addition to the nine players currently recovering on injured reserve. If New Orleans can keep the division in reach until it starts getting big contributors back on the field, the Saints could have a path back to the playoffs after missing out last year.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/22/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on list: T Le’Raven Clark

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Saints Place Garrett Griffin On IR

The Saints will place tight end Garrett Griffin on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Griffin will have to miss a minimum of three games, per league rules, but the Saints hope to have him back on the field for Week 18. In the meantime, they’ll activate Adam Trautman for additional depth against the Buccaneers.

[RELATED: Saints HC Sean Payton To Miss Sunday’s Game]

Griffin has seen time in 13 games this season, more action than his previous three years combined. Used mostly for his blocking ability, the 6’4″, 240-pound tight end has four catches for 39 yards this year. The Saints clobbered the Jets last week to snap their five-game losing streak and stay alive at 6-7. They might be in a better spot today, if not for an iffy penalty called on Griffin against the Cowboys earlier this month. Regardless, they still have a 19% chance of pulling out a Wild Card spot, per the odds at Five Thirty Eight.

Saints head coach Sean Payton will also be absent from this week’s game, following his positive test for COVID-19. In his stead, defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will serve as the HC on Sunday.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/18/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/15/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: LB A.J. Klein

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Injury Notes: Fields, Saints, Seahawks

It sounds like Andy Dalton will be back in the lineup for the Bears on Thursday night. The veteran quarterback is expected to get the start for Chicago later this week, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

Rookie Justin Fields is currently dealing with a rib injury, thrusting Dalton back into the starting lineup. The 34-year-old has barely seen the field since starting Chicago’s first two games. Since then, Dalton has appeared in two contests, completing 12 of his 24 pass attempts for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

Fortunately, it sounds like it’s more of a timing thing for Fields than anything else. The rookie spent the day undergoing more testing on his rib injury, but the turnaround time will ultimately keep Fields out of the lineup. Rapoport adds that the young QB has “been making major strides,” and it sounds like he’ll be back for the Bears before long. Fields has started eight of his 10 games this season, throwing four touchdowns vs. eight interceptions.

More injury notes from around the NFL:

  • Saints tight end Adam Trautman had a career day yesterday, but it came at a cost. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that Trautman suffered a sprained MCL that will keep him sidelined for the next four to six weeks. Presumably, the former third-round pick will end up seeing a stint on the injured reserve. Trautman had a standout game on Sunday against the Eagles, finishing with five catches for 58 yards and one touchdown.
  • Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson landed on injured reserve a few weeks back, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be sidelined for much more than the three required weeks. Rapoport tweets that Garden-Johnson’s expected recovery time from his foot injury is only three to four weeks. The 23-year-old started each of the Saints first seven games this season.
  • Saints quarterback Jameis Winston underwent surgery on his ACL earlier this month, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that the procedure “did not include an MCL repair.” While there was damage to the MCL, doctors believe the ligament was still strong enough to heal on its own.
  • Seahawks rookie cornerback Tre Brown is likely done for the season, as Pete Carroll acknowledged that Brown will likely require season-ending knee surgery. “This is just the day after and it looks like surgery is imminent,” Carroll said (h/t Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “Yeah, so he would be [done for the year].” The fourth-round pick has gotten into five games (three starts) this season, collecting 10 tackles and one pass defended.

Vikings Trade No. 105 To Saints

Another late-night trade to pass along. ESPN’s Field Yates reported (via Twitter) that the Vikings and Saints made the following swap:

Saints acquire:

  • No. 105

Vikings acquire

  • No. 130
  • No. 169
  • No. 203
  • No. 244

New Orleans used the third round’s penultimate pick on Dayton tight end Adam Trautman.

Barring a trade, that could be the Saints’ final pick of the weekend; after drafting three players through the first three rounds, New Orleans is now tapped out of picks. As NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets, this could be the first time the Saints come away with three or fewer draft picks since 1999, when they traded that infamous haul for Ricky Williams.

On the flip side, after making four selections through the first three rounds, the Vikings still have 13 picks remaining. The team could certainly make a handful of trades, but Pelissero tweets that Minny is approaching history. The most picks by a team in the seven-round draft era is 14 by the 1997 Jets and 2016 Browns. The 1968 Bengals selected 17 players in the first seven rounds of the 17-round draft.