The New Orleans Saints executed several roster moves on Monday afternoon, infusing veteran experience at key positions and moving injured players to the reserve list.
A move to injured reserve this season only requires a player to miss three weeks against this year, after the same adjustment was made in 2020. The Saints moved kicker Wil Lutz, offensive lineman Will Clapp, and tight end Nick Vannett to the injured reserve list. They are eligible to make their earliest return after the week three matchup against the New England Patriots.
To fill those spots, the Saints made three signing official including last week’s reported signing of defensive tackle Montravius Adams, wide receiver Chris Hogan, and former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant.
Trufant has a workout with the Saints on Monday and apparently impressed enough to earn a contract on the spot.
Sounds like Desmond Trufant had an impressive workout with the Saints. Team is in need of depth at that position with only Marshon Lattimore, Ken Crawley and Paulson Adebo as the listed cornerbacks.— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) September 6, 2021
He spent last season with the Detroit Lions where he was targeted 32 times, allowing 22 receptions (68.8%), three touchdowns, and one interception according to pro-football-reference. Pro Football Focus also credits him with two pass break ups as well. Grading-wise, last season was Trufant’s worst in his career. Grading 38.4 overall and 36.7 in coverage. Though those grades may have more to do with Matt Patricia than the veteran corner who has always looked solid in coverage while in a Falcons uniform.
For the Saints, the signing comes ahead of their opening week against the Green Bay Packers who are sure to take to the air against a shorthanded Saints secondary. Before this signing, New Orleans was carrying only three boundary corners on their roster, plus C.J. Gardner-Johnson manning the slot.
While it’s unlikely (as of now) that Trufant walks right into a starting role opposite Marshon Lattimore, he does present an experienced option behind Ken Crawley and potentially ahead of rookie Paulson Adebo.
Desmond Trufant is an 8-year vet. Played his first seven seasons in Atlanta, then appeared in six games with Detroit last season. 14 career INTs, 7 career fumble recoveries. Went to the Pro Bowl in 2015.— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) September 6, 2021
Trufant’s last season as an Atlanta Falcon was a success with context. He compiled four interceptions, including two against division rivals. One against the Carolina Panthers, and another against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did allow five touchdowns, during a down two game stretch against the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans. During those two games, he gave up 229 of the 390 yards he surrenders in his nine games.
Injuries have been a concern for Trufant, but as a depth player, the issue can hopefully be held at bay.
New Orleans also made several changes to the practice squad. After moving on from linebacker Wynton McManis, they made official the additions of:
- DB Ka’dar Hollman
- DL Jalyn Holmes
- DL Jaleel Johnson
- OL Derrick Kelly
- DB Dylan Mabin
- DB Jordan Miller
- K Aldrick Rosas
The Saints currently still have no kicker on the roster, and the apple of Saints’ fans’ eye is still on the market in former Baltimore Raven Jake Verity. Head coach Sean Payton seems to be leaving the door open at the position ahead of their September 12th matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Sean Payton didn't commit to Aldrick Rosas being the #Saints kicker for Week 1. He was re-signed to the practice squad today: "We'll see. We're evaluating it, and we've got flexibility with the roster that way."— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) September 6, 2021
We should certainly expect the Saints to continue shuffling the roster as the week moves along and as greater clarity of injury statuses around the team become available.
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