Archive for the ‘New Orleans Saints’ Category

The New Orleans Saints will be missing a big part of their offense on Monday after running back Darren Sproles underwent surgery to repair a broken hand. The Saints plan to “re-evaluate” him next week.

With Sproles out, Pierre Thomas will undoubtedly see a huge increase in touches over the duration of the injury. On the season, Thomas has rushed for a team-high 257 yards on 58 carries to go along with 145 yard receiving.

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Owners of Jimmy Graham, and I’m one of them, have been waiting for some good news regarding his playing status this week against the Denver Broncos. I was getting pretty sick of searching the wire for tight ends that couldn’t come close to numbers Graham would put up week-to-week. Joel Dreessen (4.9 percent owned in ESPN leagues/19 percent in Yahoo), Anthony Fasano (1.9 percent owned in ESPN leagues/five percent in Yahoo), Jacob Tamme (68 percent owned in ESPN leagues/43 percent in Yahoo) and Chris Cooley (0.6 percent owned in ESPN leagues/three percent in Yahoo) are available in my ESPN league, but let’s be honest, I need Graham back on the field just as much as you do.

According to head coach Joe Vitt, Graham, who missed last week with a sprained ankle suffered in week 5 against the Chargers, was limited to land-based activities in Wednesday’s practice, but at least there seems to be optimism surrounding the former 3rd round pick in the 2010 draft playing this week.

In his absence, David Thomas started the week 6 matchup against the Buccaneers, recording two catches for only 27 yards. If Graham happens to miss this week, Thomas will remain in the starting lineup, but don’t expect much more than the 27 yards he recorded against the Bucs. The Broncos defense ranks 10th in the NFL allowing 215.3 yards per game.

With this in mind, hitting the wire for the players listed above is a far better option than starting Thomas.

I know, this burns. It burns so deep, but at this point on a Friday afternoon, you have little choice but to find an option at tight end who isn’t named Jimmy Graham. Please take a moment to collect your thoughts.

OK, moving on then.

If I’m delivered a finely slice and diced helping of crow by Graham when he plays and still posts solid numbers during a Herculean effort while injured, I’ll gladly eat and enjoy. But let’s consider the facts around our Graham case that could quite easily align to create tears on Sunday. So many tears.

He didn’t practice Wednesday due to his injured ankle, and he was limited Thursday and today. He maintained that poor practice status despite the Saints’ bye last week, meaning his ankle had 10 days to heal before his team’s next practice to prepare for a football game. That’s what’s led to his questionable status this week for the Saints game against Tampa, and his potential absence during that matchup induces even more pain since the Bucs have the league’s 31st ranked secondary, allowing an average of 312.2 passing yards per game.

But oh, it gets worse for Graham, because of course.

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Jimmy Graham’s leaping ability sets him apart. Doctors I contacted informed me the ‘ankle’ plays a large role in jumping.

Unfortunately, Graham’s ankle injury held him out of practice today. Considering JG had a week to rest – the Saints were on their bye week – his absence from practice doesn’t bode well for Sunday’s divisional clash with Tampa Bay.

Via rotoworld, interim head coach Aaron Kromer said Graham looked good doing work on the side. Hedge your bets – Coby Fleener and Lance Kendricks are options in case of emergency.

Update: Adam Schefter reports it’s uncertain whether Graham will be active on Sunday.

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New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma told WVUE-TV that he will be coming off the physically unable to perform list Tuesday, and may play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Vilma, who is currently appealing his season-long suspension stemming from the bounty scandal, said this:

“I’ll be allowed to practice, I’ll be allowed to play”

The nine-year veteran was placed on the PUP list Week 2 with a knee injury after having his suspension vacated by a three-person panel. On the season, the Saints defense ranks last in the NFL in yards per game, allowing 456.0.

NFL offensive coordinators are bent on passing the ball, and as a result records are being broken by quarterbacks at an unprecedented pace.

On Sunday, Drew Brees broke a record that stood for more than 50 (!) years. With at least one touchdown in his 48th straight game, Brees eclipsed legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas’ record for most successive games (47) with a passing touchdown. Fittingly, the record breaker came on a 40-yard deep ball — a ball that Brees is arguably the best at throwing in the league — to teammate and receiver Devery Henderson.

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When an appeals panel ruled in favor of the four players involved in the Saints bounty debacle that won’t reach some kind of finality for at least another seven years, the result was a case file given back to Roger Goodell, and he was then tasked with handing out more fitting penalties.

Now his next ruling has been issued, and it looks nearly the same as his first ruling. Just die, offseason of 2012.

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