Despite leaving the game with an injury and being limited to zero yards on zero catches against the New England Patriots in Week 6, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham should be able to come back strong after the Saints have a bye week in Week 7. The next updated injury report will not be available until next week, and Graham supposedly had an MRI conducted this previous Monday, but ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported earlier in the week that league sources were “optimistic about Graham’s return” in Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills.
The Week 6 matchup against the Patriots was an anomaly in that it was the first time all season that Graham had been effectively neutralized as an offensive weapon for an entire game. ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer pointed out during the telecast that Patriots defenders were getting physical at the line of scrimmage with not just Graham, but other receivers like Marques Colston, who was held to just one catch.
That Graham was taken away as an option for Drew Brees and that he left the game with his leg/foot injury is certainly nothing to jump for joy about, but it should not be overblown at the moment. It was a positive that Graham left the game in the fourth quarter and was able to come back for a small amount of time before he ultimately left for good. Whatever injury he suffered, it could not have came at a better time with New Orleans having a bye the following week. He should have plenty of time to recuperate and come back.
Head coach Sean Payton was not concerned about potential “copy-cat defenses” following the loss to New England, either. Not every team will be able to play defense against the Saints like the Patriots did, and we all remember what happened in the Week 4 matchup against the Miami Dolphins when their defense focused on limiting Graham’s effectiveness — Darren Sproles had over 100 yards receiving before the end of the first half.
So, worry not, Saints fans. Graham will likely be OK and come back and have a big game at home against Buffalo, and show the rest of the league that he is still for real.