METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham appears poised to play a greater role this week against the San Francisco 49ers than he did in last week’s 49-17 victory against the Dallas Cowboys. Graham was able to practice on a limited basis all week with foot and elbow injuries, and is officially listed as probable.
“He’s a lot further along. He’s getting all of the snaps. He’s doing well,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “It’s just a matter of making some dots on call sheets and trying to get the substitutions right. Sometimes that’s a challenge. I think he’s handled it well. He’s moving around well. Fortunately it’s getting better.”
Graham’s workload decreased last week -- both in practice and in the game. He went from playing 56 snaps in Week 9 to 33 snaps in Week 10. It’s possible that had as much to do with the elbow injury he suffered in Week 9 as it did with his lingering foot injury (a partially torn plantar fascia).
Regardless, Graham clearly did more work in practice this week than he did last week. And Payton explained this week that Graham’s role against the Cowboys was “predicated on the game plan and the work week.”
"I'm going to play as hard as I can no matter how I feel,” Graham said. “Obviously, when an injury is fresh, it's difficult to learn to push through that, because you're not used to that. But now that I've gotten a little bit used to that it's fine. I'll be okay."