The New Orleans Saints look like they are in pretty good shape in the final weeks of the 2013 NFL season. The final injury report for this week, which came out on Friday, listed only six players, and all of those players are questionable for the Saints’ Week 15 match up against the St. Louis Rams.
Listed on the report were tackle Terron Armstead, nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley, safety Rafael Bush, linebacker Keyunta Dawson, defensive end Glenn Foster and tight end Josh Hill.
Foster participated in practice all week — on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday and fully participated Friday — while nursing a knee injury and may not play Sunday after missing more than a week. Bunkley, the only starter listed on the injury list, fully participated in Friday’s practice and is likely to play given his participation and workload.
Dawson, Bush and Hill, who are working through calf, ankle and hamstring issues respectively, did not participate in practice all week and are not expected to play against the Rams in St. Louis.
This is not too bad considering a lot of teams are dealing with a lot worse. The New England Patriots, for instance, recently lost Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski to both an ACL and MCL tear last week. Even St. Louis is without their starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, after he suffered a nasty looking knee injury several weeks ago.
Still, New Orleans should not take this match up lightly. Even though the Saints are relatively healthy on both sides of the ball, I believe the Rams are better than their 5-8 record shows. I remember going to my first NFL game in 2011 to watch the Saints play the Rams in St. Louis when I lived in the area. I fully expected New Orleans to roll over St. Louis, but the outcome was far from that as the Saints lost 31-21.
The Saints are definitely the favorites again this week, and a relatively healthy roster and a focused mind should help New Orleans improve to 11-3 and move closer to clinching the NFC South.