The New Orleans Saints brace to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC’s Divisional Round. This will be the third meeting between the two teams throughout the 2020 season. The Saints swept the regular season series and now look to advance to the NFC Conference Championship Game with a win this Sunday.
Obviously, the week is early and things may change throughout the week, but both teams have some valuable names on their injury reports. Good and concerning news for both. Here is what the injury report looks like from Wednesday:
From the Saints
- T Terron Armstead (Elbow), Limited Participation
- TE Jared Cook (Back), Limited Participation
- DE Trey Hendrickson (Neck), Limited Participation
- QB Taysom Hill (Knee), DNP
- RB Latavius Murray (Quadricep), DNP
- CB Patrick Robinson (Hamstring), DNP
Why it’s important: Trey Hendrickson has had a ton of success against the Tampa Bay Bucs offensive line this season, getting him back would be a huge boost. Taysom Hill will be remembered first for the fumble from last week’s Wildcard win over the Chicago Bears, but he’s a big part of this offense. He’ll be an important piece to watch as he provides a change of pace at signal caller with Drew Brees and is also a trusted receiver in the passing game in addition to his contributions in the run game as well, of course.
From the Buccaneers
- G Alex Cappa (Ankle), DNP
- CB Carlton Davis (Groin), Limited Participation
- WR Mike Evans (Knee), Limited Participation
- WR Chris Godwin (Hip/Quad), Limited Participation
- RB Ronald Jones (Quad/Finger), DNP
- DL Jeremiah Ledbetter (Calf), DNP
- RB LeSean McCoy (Illness), Full
- OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (Knee), DNP
Why it’s important: Offensive lineman Alex Cappa hasn’t been credited as allowing a sack on Tom Brady this season. Now he’s expected to miss the Divisional matchup. In his place will be OL Aaron Stinnie who’s played fewer than 50 snaps on offense. He’ll be tasked to match up with a talented New Orleans defensive interior. Both Bucs top wide receivers have dealt with injuries all season and over on the defensive side, a limited or missing Jason Pierre-Paul might make life a little easier for Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense.
Some early injuries turn out to be precautionary, so we’ll keep an eye out on them throughout the week.
Updated: January 13, 2020 at 4:50 PM CT
Per NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill, Tre’Quan Smith has returned to practice this week. Smith left the Kansas City Chiefs matchup in Week 15 with a lower-leg injury and was placed on Injured Reserve. There were a few hints from Saints players after their Wildcard win that Smith would hopefully be back for this week’s Divisional playoff game.
His return to practice does not guarantee his availability on Sunday. However, it is still a positive step forward toward getting another weapon back for Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and the Saints offense.
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