- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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On the surface, the New Orleans Saints are in a great spot.
They’re 2-1 and tied with Tampa Bay atop the NFC South. The Saints also have what looks like a very winnable game at Jacksonville on Sunday.
But you don’t have to look too far beyond the surface to see some possible problems. The Saints had two starters on their offensive line leave Sunday’s game with injuries. Right tackle Zach Strief and center Olin Kreutz each suffered knee injuries.
At his Monday news conference, coach Sean Payton, like many NFL coaches, declined to talk much about the injuries. Teams don’t have to issue injury reports until Wednesday.
But the Saints were down to just five healthy and active offensive linemen after Strief and Kreutz were injured. Second-year pro Charles Brown took over for Strief and Brian De La Puente filled in for Kreutz. The team also has center/guard Matt Tennant on the roster, but he was inactive Sunday.
If Strief and or Brown miss any time, the Saints likely will activate Tennant. He can be a backup at all three interior positions. But, if Strief’s injury is serious, the Saints might have to go out and find a tackle. They do have a couple of tackles on their practice squad, but they likely would first look at the waiver wire and available free agents.