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What you missed this week with the New Orleans Saints

A look at some of the biggest Saints news and notes from the week of November 19th.

Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints have once again had a pretty good week. At 8-2, they’re certainly in a strong position with six games left go in the season. However, they’re pretty banged up entering their Week 12 matchup with the Rams. Offense figures to be the big driving force to get a win in Los Angeles. Here’s what you may or may not have missed this week with the black and gold.

Quick Hits

  • The Saints will be in black jerseys and gold pants. New Orleans is still the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff race. The game will be televised on CBS at the 3:25 p.m. slot, with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo calling it.
  • Both starting cornerbacks, Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley, are out on Sunday. If you didn’t hear or notice, the team brought back Sterling Moore (who should start) along with signing Dexter McDougle.
  • P.J. Williams was fined $9,115 for playing football his unnecessary roughness penalty against Kirk Cousins last Sunday, while Preston Smith was fined $18,231 for his roughing the passer penalty on Drew Brees.
  • New Orleans won a butt ton of weekly awards, and we don’t blame you if you don’t remember them all. Here’s the quickest way I can summarize: Mark Ingram (Ground POTW, NFC Offensive POTW); Drew Brees (Air POTW, Clutch POTW); Alvin Kamara (Rookie POTW).
  • The Saints placed Alex Okafor on injured reserve due to an Achilles injury, and brought back Adam Bighill to the practice squad.
  • Pro Bowl voting is a thing, and Drew Brees is currently the 6th-highest vote-getter.

Alvin Kamara talked about the ‘Fleur-de-leap’ on the Rich Eisen Show.

Can we wrap up the division and get into the postseason first?

P.J. Williams said he’s ready for his opportunity to step in.

Several Saints could earn contract incentives over the next 6 weeks, but none bigger than Mark Ingram |
The Saints running back has a clause in his deal that makes him a free agent if the Associated Press names him a first-team All-Pro. Ingram also could have fulfilled his contract a year early if he made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017, but he did not receive that honor last season.

With the way Ingram has been running, there’s a chance he could make the team. He ranks fourth in the NFL with 806 rushing yards, and his eight touchdowns are tied with the RamsTodd Gurley for the league lead. His 5.2 yards per carry is third among running backs behind New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara (6.2) and Green Bay’s Aaron Jones (5.3).

Also included in this: Craig Robertson, Cameron Jordan, Senio Kelemete, Chase Daniel, Josh Hill, Manti Te’o, and Zach Strief.

Saints cornerback De'Vante Harris ready if given more snaps vs. Rams |
"I'm 100 percent ready," he said Friday. "Last week, got in there, got my feet wet gained a little more confidence. With me making that play and a few other plays just as far as positioning and good stuff on film, it just really gave me a lot of confidence. But I'm ready."

One would imagine that Kenny Vaccaro will primarily handle the slot on Sunday, with Williams and Sterling Moore manning the outside. It’s hard to envision Dexter McDougle ready for slot duties right now, so he’ll likely backfill De’Vante Harris here.

Can New Orleans Saints sweep rookie awards? - ESPN
Lattimore is absolutely a front-runner for the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award after winning the league's monthly honor for October and being rated as the best cornerback in football by the analytical service Pro Football Focus for most of the year.

Kamara, meanwhile, is more of a long shot for the offensive award because of Kareem Hunt -- another dual-threat running back who has been more of a one-man show for the Kansas City Chiefs. Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is in the conversation, as well. And it's possible that Carolina Panthers runner/receiver Christian McCaffrey could enter the conversation with a strong finish.

It would be something to see both Lattimore and Kamara win these awards. Both of their values and impacts are something that can be easily seen. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out the rest of the way, because if the Saints get into a better position for the playoffs and could earn a first-round bye in the next few weeks, some of these guys could rest. Of course, it’s way too premature to talk like this.

New Orleans Saints: Cameron Jordan is mad and he should be | Who Dat Dish
Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan is one of the best in the business at what he does. There’s no doubt about it. None. So why does he keep getting snubbed when Pro Bowl time rolls around?

It hasn’t been universal snobbery. But Cameron Jordan should have been more than 2 times. Since joining the Saints as a 1st round draft pick in 2011, he’s been one of the top defensive ends in the NFL. And with the season he’s having in 2017, surely he’s in the top of the voting for Pro Bowl defensive ends.

With the loss of Alex Okafor, Cam Jordan is going to have to take his game to an even higher level. He definitely does a lot of everything, and while the Pro Bowl is nice, it’s not the end goal. Let’s just hope the trio of Trey Hendrickson, Hau’oli Kikaha, and Al-Quadin Muhammad can make up Okafor’s absence. I’d be silly not to point out that the Saints didn’t put in a waiver claim for Dwight Freeney, because the Lions didn’t have priority over them. So, there’s that.

Saints created perfect storm for Mike Westhoff to return to coaching |
But a streaking Saints team offered Westhoff an opportunity to coach on a part-time basis, shore up a weakness in New Orleans and maybe get a chance at doing the one thing he's never done.

"I'll be honest with you. ... to do it full-time, I'm frankly not very interested in it," Westhoff said. "This presented a little different problem or situation. I hope to God the season could go as long as it could. I've coached in a lot of playoff games, but I've never coached in a Super Bowl."