The New Orleans Saints are one of the NFL's three one-loss teams, but after a bye week to lick their wounds following a heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots, they've still got some players who are dealing with significant injuries.
Jimmy Graham, TE, (foot): After Graham injured his foot during that loss in Week 6, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that the Saints viewed it as a minor injury, and were hopeful Graham would return after the bye. Ah, but foot injuries can be so tricky to predict. The Saints haven’t offered any more insight as to the specific nature of Graham’s injury, but the nonsighting of him at practice Wednesday may be telling enough.
According to ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett, Graham is likely to be questionable throughout the week, and is possibly even a game-time decision. Coach Sean Payton says his star TE will continue to be evaluated. “Each day, we'll just take a peek on how he's progressing and be smart," Payton said on a conference call with the Buffalo media. On Thursday, Graham again sat out of practice, and Payton would offer only that Graham is day-to-day noting, “[Friday] will be an important day.” Fantasy owners should be making contingency plans at this point in the event Graham does not play.
Lance Moore, WR, (hand): Moore has been out with an unspecified hand injury since Week 3, but he returned to a full workload in practice Wednesday, following it up with another full practice session Thursday. Per Triplett, Moore says the hand “feels good,” and that he’s “not really thinking about it at all” while out practicing. Those are positive signs pointing toward Moore returning for Sunday’s game. Moore has had a very quiet start to the season, but if Graham is forced to sit because of the foot injury, the Saints will be happy to have another pair of sure hands back in the mix.
Mark Ingram, RB, (toe): Ingram has not played in a game since Week 2 due to a toe injury, so it’s not likely he’s on many people’s fantasy radar. But with all the injuries accumulating around the league and Week 8 seeing so many teams on bye, some might be considering Ingram, if he were to return, as a fill-in. The key word there is “if.”
While it looked last week as if he were making progress, returning for the first time to daily practices on a limited basis, Ingram did not practice with the team Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Toe injuries are notoriously problematic for running backs, often severely limiting their ability to push off and pivot, so even small setbacks are not surprising. The Saints have not offered an explanation, but it goes without saying that this is a move backward from limited practices, not forward, as one would hope. It appears Ingram will be sidelined for his fifth consecutive game, offering another opportunity for rookie Khiry Robinson.