NFC South: injured reserve list

Just found a stat that makes the Saints’ 10-0 start even more impressive. The Saints have managed to stay undefeated while accumulating a league-high 12 players on the injured-reserve list.

They’re tied with Buffalo and Detroit in that category. Tampa Bay is tied for fourth with eight players out for the season. Carolina is tied for ninth with seven players on injured reserve. Atlanta is tied for 16 with six players done for the year.

What’s really impressive about the Saints ability to win despite this many injuries is that they had a similar situation last year and that team finished out of the playoffs.

That experience prompted general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton to put a lot of emphasis on acquiring depth in the offseason, and they’ve found enough quality backups that they’ve been able to weather the injury storm quite nicely.

Thursday morning mailbag

September, 11, 2008
9/11/08
10:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Time for another installment of the mailbag. Thanks for your questions and keep them coming.

Caleb from Louisiana writes: I, like many of the other Saints' faithful, were incredibly befuddled regarding Meachem's inactive status last weekend. From what i saw of the preseason, he gobbled up every ball thrown his way, was a legitimate hr threat (more so than colston), and basically looked like a Devery Henderson who could catch balls thrown under 50 yards. Please give me some insight as to why he was inactive for the first game; where is his downside? I really would like to know.

Pat Yasinskas: I think the Saints were just bringing Robert Meachem along slowly still even though they also were happy with his preseason. They activated two receivers ahead of him because of their abilities on special teams. With the injury to Marques Colston, I think Meachem will be active this week and he'll finally get a chance to show what he can do. He's got good size and physical skills and I think he might be able to turn himself into at least a No. 3 receiver.


Spencer in Charlotte writes: One question. Do you think that now Jake's proved he's 100 percent and that we've forgiven Steve Smith a million times, other people will stop questioning our team and start giving us more respect? Especially since we beat one of the top 5 teams in the league.

Pat Yasinskas: Not sure who was questioning the Panthers. I think the consensus was they would be pretty good with Jake Delhomme back. Now that he's shown he's healthy and the Panthers went out to San Diego and won a huge game, there's really no reason anybody should not respect this team.

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