NFC South: injured reserve
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
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
If you want to know one reason why the Saints are 6-6, take a look at their injured reserve list.
As of now, it contains either 14 or 15 guys, depending on how you want to calculate it. Safety Kevin Kaesviharn was added Thursday. Defensive end Charles Grant, who is waiting for a federal hearing Friday on his four-game league suspension is on the reserve-suspended list, but he had been on injured reserve for several weeks.
With either 14 or 15 guys on the injured reserve list, the Saints are way ahead of the league average, which is 7.7 players. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (16) currently have more players on injured reserve. Baltimore has 14 and Seattle, New England and Denver have 11 each. By comparison, the teams with the fewest injured reserve players are Arizona with two and Philadelphia and Carolina with three each.
With Kaesviharn out, the Saints likely will turn to Josh Bullocks as the starter at free safety.