This past Thursday’s divisional match up against the Atlanta Falcons was not the sleekest or the sexiest win of the season for the New Orleans Saints, but a win is a win. The Saints are still sitting on top of the NFC South with a 9-2 record and some tough games games still to come. One of these games is a Monday night, prime-time game against the NFC leading Seattle Seahawks. That will be followed by two more divisional games against Cam Newton and the surging Carolina Panthers.
Against the Falcons on Thursday night, running back Darren Sproles and guard Jahri Evans both sat out, with a concussion and ankle injuries respectively. Defensive end Glenn Foster was also taken off the field early in the game with an undisclosed leg injury.
Thankfully, however, New Orleans has 11 days off following their Thursday night game and should have time for key players to rest up and get game ready.
Rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro, who has been used in a variety of roles in Rob Ryan’s defensive schemes, returned to play after suffering a concussion in their week 10 victory against the Dallas Cowboys. Vaccaro played all 68 snaps on defense, according to ESPN‘s Mike Triplett, and is New Orleans’ second leading tackler behind linebacker Curtis Lofton. His return and health going forward will be crucial.
Sproles should be ready to suit up and play in next Monday’s road game against the Seahawks, as should Evans. Both are an integral part of the Saint’s offense. Sproles’ return is especially important as he is a constant producer and is tough to match up against with his nimble size, elusiveness and speed.
Tight end Jimmy Graham, who suffered a partially torn plantar fascia in week 6, has been getting healthier as the weeks have gone by. With more than 10 days between the Falcons’ game and the upcoming Seahawks’ matchup, it should figure that Graham will see an increase in snaps and workload as he continues to heal.
The Seahawks will likely be the toughest and most important game of the season for New Orleans yet, so getting their key players back will be of the utmost importance.