Carr's return to Saints keeps depth intact

September, 17, 2013
9/17/13
5:04
PM ET
The New Orleans Saints are bringing back veteran cornerback Chris Carr, according to his agent Buddy Baker, after Carr barely missed the 53-man cut this preseason. Presumably Carr will replace backup Patrick Robinson, who suffered an unspecified leg injury during last Sunday’s 16-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carr
Although the Saints haven’t released any injury updates on Robinson, he appeared to be in a great deal of pain while being carted off the field against the Buccaneers, and the reactions from teammates and opponents suggested it was a serious injury.

Losing Robinson for an extended period would certainly be unfortunate for the Saints, since they were still hoping that the former first-round draft pick could tap into the potential he showed early in his career. Robinson, however, wasn’t playing a major role for the Saints early this season as part of a deep secondary.

Bringing back Carr will only strengthen that depth. The ninth-year veteran had a solid summer audition with the Saints but lost out on a roster spot because the team had so many other young options. Carr will now join second-year cornerback Corey White and undrafted rookie Rod Sweeting as backups behind starters Jabari Greer and Keenan Lewis. The Saints are equally deep at the safety position -- and in fact, they often prefer to use three and four safeties in nickel and dime packages instead of three or four cornerbacks.

Carr, 30, began his career as a backup with the Oakland Raiders, where he played under current Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. He later became a starter with the Baltimore Ravens for one year in 2010. But since then he has played sparingly while bouncing around from Baltimore to San Diego to New Orleans. He has six career interceptions and seven forced fumbles, though none since 2010.

Robinson, 26, has had a tough two-year stretch after a promising start to his career. The speedy 5-11, 191-pounder, who was drafted out of Florida State in 2010, emerged as a valuable nickel back and part-time starter in 2011. But like the rest of the embattled Saints’ defense in 2012, Robinson struggled mightily after becoming a full-time starter, letting too many deep balls get behind him. Robinson was then demoted back to a backup role after the Saints signed free agent Lewis this offseason. Then he suffered a summer knee injury that sidelined him for much of the preseason before suffering the latest setback.

Robinson still has time – and the talent – to turn his career back in the right direction. But these injuries certainly aren’t making the path any smoother.

UPDATE: Carr also confirmed via Twitter that he's returning to the Saints, though no official transaction was completed Tuesday. The Saints will likely make the move official Wednesday, when they will have to make a corresponding roster move.

The Saints did make one practice-squad transaction Tuesday, adding receiver Andy Tanner and releasing fullback Austin Johnson.

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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