November 22, 2009

Game Day; Saints start Strief at LT

Both starting cornerbacks, Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer are also out today. Starting in their places are Randall Gay and rookie Malcolm Jenkins. It will be Jenkins' first career start. Backing them up is Leigh Torrence. Strangely, newly-signed veteran CB Chris McAlister is inactive. With Darren Sharper returning to the starting lineup at free safety, the Saints will likely use backup free safety Usama Young at cornerback, where he started his career. The Saints moved Young to safety this past offseason, but appeared to use him on the edge last week against the Rams.

Starting LT Jermon Bushrod, who has started since preseason because of the season-ending injury to Jammal Brown, has been benched in favor of backup tackle Zach Strief.

Strief started for Bushrod against the New York Jets in October because of an ankle injury. Strief has started because of various injuries at right and left tackle throughout his four year NFL career, but this will be the first time he's been promoted to the starting lineup over a healthy starter.

Bushrod is not inactive, and could play today.

UPDATE: Bushrod is in at left tackle early in the second quarter.

Reggie Bush was left back in New Orleans because of swelling in his knee. With both Bush and Lance Moore out, the Saints are down their top two punt returners. WR Devery Henderson and RB Pierre Thomas are expected to get time fielding punts, which will hopefully be plentiful. In Bush's place on the active roster, RB Lynell Hamilton is active for the first time since Week 4. UPDATE: First Bucs punt, it was actually veteran starting free safety Darren Sharper back fielding the punt. UPDATE: The second punt was fielded by Henderson.

Inactives for the Saints:
RB Reggie Bush (knee swelling), LB Jonathan Casillas (healthy), DT Sedrick Ellis (MCL), CB Jabari Greer (groin), K Garrett Hartley (healthy), CB Chris McAlister (playbook), WR Lance Moore (ankle), CB Tracy Porter (MCL).

QB Chase Daniel is not the emergency quarterback, as he was cut during this week in place of McAlister and is now on the practice squad.

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