The Saints will take on the Indianapolis Colts Sunday as the Saints look to improve to 3-4. Injuries have been a major setback all year long. The question is “Who will be out against the Colts and what effect will the injuries have?”
The Saints dealt with several notable injuries last week against the Falcons. WR Marques Colston, LT Terron Armstead, G Tim Lelito, DB Damian Swann, and P Thomas Morstead didn’t participate in the game because of injuries. I think the three most significant injuries are LT Terron Armstead, G Tim Lelito, and DB Damian Swann. The other injuries will still have an impact, but the absences weren’t as significant. Both Marques Colston and Tim Lelito missed the game with a shoulder injury. Armstead has had a knee injury. Thomas Morstead has been out with a right quadricep injury, and Damian Swann was ruled out with a concussion.
Terron Armstead might just be the most significant absence. Armstead is one of the best left tackles in football, and his quickness helps separate him from other offensive linemen in the league. There were some questions coming into the game about first-round draft pick Andrus Peat’s play. He had been playing at right tackle throughout most of his short time in the NFL. However, he played left tackle in college. He played admirably until he went down during the game with an injury. The need for Armstead to return quickly increased after Andrus Peat’s MCL injury. Peat will be out for at least 4 weeks. Tony Hills, a recently signed tackle, came into the game to replace Peat. He played relatively well despite the evident lack of time with the team. Terron Armstead is a major boost to this offensive line, and that is why I rank him as the most important absence. Drew Brees needs time to let plays develop, and Armstead helps make time. We don’t know exactly when he will be back, but there is some hope that he will return shortly.
Unfortunately, it looks like Tim Lelito will continue to miss time as the Saints signed guard/center Ryan Seymour on Monday, October 19th. The Saints will need to have another solid offensive line performance against the Colts. The Colts have eight sacks on the year. Optimally, the Saints will hold the Colts to one or two sacks.
Keenan Lewis still has a lingering hip injury. He has seen limited snaps since his return. That leaves Browner starting at corner. After watching film, it is easy to see progress for Browner. He needs to continue to improve his coverage abilities. However, Brandon Browner has been a force in the run defense. The Colts have two very capable wide receivers in T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson. The return of Damian Swann would mean more depth for the Saints. Swann is versatile enough that he can also play safety if needed.
I’m not too concerned about the absence of Colston. He is a reliable receiver, and there is a chance he plays this Sunday. I think the offense has enough to weapons to replace his production. Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks have combined for 799 yards this season. Sean Payton is notorious for his use of screen passes. Benjamin Watson just had a career game after posting 10 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. What am I trying to say? The Saints will be fine offensively in terms of getting yards. In order for this to happen, they will need their offensive line to protect Drew Brees and make lanes for the running backs.
Injuries could have a tremendous impact on the game against the Colts. We will get a better picture of who is in and who is out later on in the week. Dannell Ellerbe came out of last week’s early with an injury but later posted on Twitter, “Thx for all the love and support!!! Injury wasn’t serious I will be good to go!! #whodat”. I expect him to play in the next game. Injury updates will come throughout the week via our Twitter account which can be found @WhoDatWarriors.
WDW Update: The Saints have released Brandon Fields who they signed to sub for Thomas Morstead. Looks like Morstead will be back in the line up. Replacing Fields’ roster spot is wide receiver, T J Graham. (We’ve got a Graham!) Graham was a 2012 third-round pick of the Bills and spent two years in Buffalo before spending last season with the Jets. He has 57 catches for 770 yards and four touchdowns in the NFL.
Wed Injury Rpt DNP Peat, Lewis, Ellerbe, Armstead Ltd Lelito, Colston, Morstead, Humber, Byrd
— dOMe_inate (@WhoDatWarriors) October 21, 2015