After New Orleans Saints running Darren Sproles was injured in the opening drive against the New York Jets, his absence was quickly felt. Sproles is an integral part of the Sean Payton-concocted, Drew Brees-led offense, and he has been a leader in all-purpose yards for years. He is quick, elusive and hard to find when running the ball, and can easily catch for over 100 yards on any given day.
His absence, along with veteran Marques Colston being inactive and tight end Jimmy Graham still working through his foot injury, meant the Saints were left with limited offensive weapons. Graham still caught two touchdown passes from Brees, but the rest of the workload had to be divided up between rookie Kenny Stills, Nick Toon, Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and a few others.
We will not know much more about his concussion and where he stands going forward until later this week, but if he is inactive for next Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Superdome, the game will undeniably be a tougher matchup for the Saints. Without much of a threat out of the backfield, the Cowboys could better focus on threats like Graham, Stills and Colston — if he is active.
Concussions are no joke and it is definitely better to safer rather than sorry, but his presence is going to be crucial in the weeks ahead, especially with games against the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks all coming down the pipe. The Falcons’ matchup is also a Thursday night game, and no team enjoys a short week to work with.