The New Orleans Saints completed a series of last-minute roster moves before kickoff with the Titans, signing practice squad wide receiver Kevin White to the 53-man list while losing starting defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson to injured reserve. A handful of other players have been activated for Week 10’s road game in Tennessee. Here’s everything you need to know:
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is tackled by New Orleans Saints defensive end Christian Ringo during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C.(AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Ringo had been active for seven of the eight games played this year, seeing exactly 17 snaps in each of the last three weeks, but the Saints waived him on Saturday. There’s a chance he could return upon clearing waivers but that’s not certain. A product of the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns and Jackson, Miss. native, Ringo has mainly rotated into games as the Saints work to find someone who can rush next to David Onyemata.
New Orleans Saints Will Clapp (64) lines up on the line of scrimmage in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Clapp figures to work as a backup for the banged-up interior line — Andrus Peat is out for the season and his immediate replacement, James Hurst, is filling in for Terron Armstead at left guard this week. If something happens to Erik McCoy at center the Saints could slot Clapp into the pivot and keep Cesar Ruiz at right guard while Calvin Throckmorton lines up at left guard. But the Saints could throw another curve ball and keep Throckmorton waiting in the wings with Clapp starting in Hurst’s place (which, again, is in relief of the injured Peat). It’s something to watch for in warmups on Sunday.
New Orleans Saints cornerback Ken Crawley (25) during the team stretch at NFL football training camp in Metairie, Saturday, July 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
He’s back: Crawley was removed from the COVID-19 reserve list this week and returned to the designated-to-return-from-injured reserve list instead. And now he’s been activated and signed back to the 53-man roster. Look for him to help prop up rookie starter Paulson Adebo and veteran backup Bradley Roby, though it’s good to have someone with real NFL reps in case Marshon Lattimore misses any time. Also, Crawley’s addition helps keep P.J. Williams where he’s played his best football, in the slot and at safety.
New Orleans Saints’ Kevin White makes a catch before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
White has already been elevated for two games from the practice squad this season (getting into last week’s contest with the Atlanta Falcons as a temporary COVID-19 replacement), and he’s found as a role on special teams — where he’s played 33 snaps covering punts and kickoffs — and on occasional downfield targets with 32 snaps played in the last three games. He’s not going to save the season at receiver, but maybe White can help.
New Orleans Saints defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson warms up before an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Al Drago)
This hurts. Gardner-Johnson is one of the team’s most impactful defenders, and it’s going to be tough for them to defend the Titans rushing attack without him. His ability to come up strong in run defense has allowed them to play more snaps out of nickel personnel, so expect some retooling. P.J. Williams is his obvious replacement in defending the slot but we could see more three-linebacker sets from New Orleans. Hopefully Gardner-Johnson can return to play again this season.
New Orleans Saints linebacker Chase Hansen (42) warms up during an NFL football training camp practice at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, La., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP, Pool)
He’s back, as expected. Hansen spent the first leg of the season recovering from a groin muscle issue on injured reserve, and the Saints waived him after he was given the green light to return to practice. Now he can continue to work with the team every day as a reserve player behind Demario Davis, Kwon Alexander, Pete Werner, Kaden Elliss, Zack Baun, and Andrew Dowell.
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Saints announce uniform combo for Week 10 vs. Titans
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