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New Orleans Saints rookie roundup heading into Week 9 against Atlanta

Here’s how rookies contributed to the best win of the season thus far

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints moved to an impressive 5-2 record after taking down the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36-27 on Halloween. Quarterback Jameis Winston completed six passes for 56 yards and a touchdown before tearing his ACL in the second quarter.

Trevor Siemian came in for Winston and threw for 159 yards and a touchdown. The ball was spread pretty evenly as no receiver had over three catches. Running back Alvin Kamara rushed 19 times for 61 yards and a score.

Pete Werner’s role being reduced?

Werner was on the field for 54 percent of New Orleans’ defensive snaps - down from 71 percent in Week 7. Linebacker Kwon Alexander saw an uptick in snaps and recorded five total tackles and a sack.

The 60th overall pick recorded four total tackles with one for loss. The decrease in snaps could be because of the game script. Tampa Bay was in hurry-up offense late in the fourth quarter, so the Saints might have opted for Alexander’s speed.

Paulson Adebo being rotated

Third-round cornerback Paulson Adebo started for the seventh time this season but played just over half of the defensive snaps. New Orleans rotated Adebo and Bradley Roby on alternating series.

Adebo has allowed 25 catches on 39 targets this season, according to Pro Football Focus. He recorded three solo tackles against the Buccaneers, bringing him up to 26 on the season. Adebo also has a tackle for loss, two interceptions and three passes defended.

Ian Book will almost certainly get activated

Fourth-round quarterback Ian Book has been a healthy scratch in every game this season. That should change moving forward as he’ll likely be activated once the Saints place Winston on injured reserve.

Book will likely be in a backup role but could see action depending on Siemian’s performance or if a game gets too far out of reach.

Brian Johnson continues to look solid

Undrafted kicker Brian Johnson made all three of his field goal attempts from 23, 35 and 23 yards, respectively. He made three out of four extra points with the miss coming after the Saints’ second touchdown.

28th overall pick Payton Turner missed his second straight game due to a calf injury. Sixth-round offensive tackle Landon Young saw the field for seven special teams snaps.

With Winston, wide receiver Michael Thomas and kicker Wil Lutz all being out for the rest of the season, New Orleans will need to lean on its younger players moving forward.

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