Monday, January 11, 2010
Saints have weathered injuries
By Pat Yasinskas
One of the things the New Orleans Saints did best this season was overcome injuries. That’s a huge improvement from 2008, when injuries were largely responsible for keeping the Saints out of the playoffs.
This season, they ended with 15 players on injured reserve, and some of those guys were significant players.
Here’s the complete list of Saints on injured reserve with comments about the more significant ones.
- FB Heath Evans: This actually might have been the most significant injury the Saints suffered. Evans was a jack-of-all-trades and a perfect fit in this offense. Without him, the Saints have had to scramble because they did not have another proven fullback. They’ve had to throw some guys in there as well as line their tight ends up in the backfield at times.
- TE Dan Campbell and TE Billy Miller: These guys also could have helped the fullback situation. They were both good blockers to go along with Jeremy Shockey, who is used mostly as a pass catcher. The Saints did pick up David Thomas and he’s done a nice role filling in.
- DE Charles Grant: He didn’t get hurt until the end of the regular season, so we won’t know the full impact until the Saints hit the field again. Backup Bobby McCray might get some time at end on passing downs. McCray is at least as good a pass rusher as Grant and Anthony Hargrove, who also plays inside.
- LT Jammal Brown: It’s pretty amazing the Saints won 13 games when they didn’t have their Pro Bowl left tackle for any of them. Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief have alternated at the position. They’ve had some ups and downs, but the coaching staff has done an excellent job of putting help near them.
- DT Kendrick Clancy: This veteran was kind of an unsung hero. Losing him hurt, but players like Hargrove have done a nice job filling in.
- FB Marcus Mailei
- WR Rod Harper
- WR D’Juan Woods
- LB Mark Simoneau
- LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar
- LB Stanley Arnoux
- CB Leigh Torrence
- CB Reggie Jones
- S Chip Vaughn