The New Orleans Saints have been battling injury and availability concerns all season thus far. But on Sunday against the Patriots, they look to be on the mend with key players returning after missing last week’s action. Meanwhile the New England Patriots are going to be missing some of their important pieces in the trenches, which could be good news for New Orleans.
New Orleans Saints
Saints inactives— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) September 26, 2021
- Ian Book
- Albert Huggins
- Erik McCoy
- Lil'Jordan Humphrey
- Desmond Trufant
Erik McCoy was expected to miss a few games as he recovers from an injury he sustained against the Green Bay Packers, but not being moved to injured reserve could mean he’s expected back sooner than anticipated. However, he’ll still be out Week 3 against the Patriots. This likely means Cesar Ruiz will get his second career start at center.
With C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marshon Lattimore back this week, veteran corner Desmond Trufant will be inactive. Similarly, Lil’Jordan Humphrey lands on the list as the Saints elevated WR Kenny Stills to the gameday roster.
Ian Book continues to be inactive, but won’t be handling substitutions this week with the coaching staff nearly back to normal. The only coaches expected to miss today’s action are assistant head coach and defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen and pass rush specialist Brian Young.
New England Patriots
The Patriots would have loved to get Trent Brown back against New Orleans, but instead will have to continue relying on an inexperienced front before rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Cam Jordan, Payton Turner, and the Saints edge defender group will look to take advantage of an offensive line that’s already allowed Jones to be sacked four times.
Joshua Uche is a big loss on the Patriots’ defensive line as he currently leads the team in sacks and QB hits with three a piece. Those three sacks account for half of the sack production New England has put together thus far this season. Matt Judon was limited all week but is expected to play.
This front-seven also gave up 4.9 yards per carry against the New York Jets last week. Look for the Saints to attack on the ground with injuries setting in throughout the week along the Pats’ defensive front.