January 7, 2011

Wildcard game notes: Graham, Jenkins out

If the Saints are to go into Seattle and beat the Seahawks, they'll do it without two more young rising stars.

TE Jimmy Graham and FS Malcolm Jenkins are listed as "out" on the final injury report, released to the league today.

Both were injured in the season finale against Tampa Bay.  

Graham has emerged as a reliable and dangerous weapon for Brees, a major benefit considering the injuries to fellow tight ends David Thomas and Jeremy Shockey.  The good news is that both Thomas and Shockey are listed as probable.

Jenkins has flourished in his second year, having taken the job from Darren Sharper and run with it.  Jenkins has made some huge plays this year for the Saints and has proven himself quite worthy of his high draft pick in April 2009.  Sharper is expected to start in his protege's place.

Jenkins had an MRI on his kneecap on Monday, which showed no structural damage.  He did fly with the Saints to Seattle.

Also listed as out is LB Danny Clark, who has been an alternating starter at strongside linebacker.  Jo-Lonn Dunbar is expected to start there, where he started the first seven games of the year but lost his starting job to Clark. 

DT Anthony Hargrove, a key member of the Saints' interior pass rush rotation, is also listed as out.

DE Alex Brown, WR Marques Colston and LB Anthony Waters are listed as probable.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have announced that QB Matt Hasselbeck will start.  His backup, Charlie Whitehurst, won the season finale against St. Louis to propel the Seahawks to the NFC West crown.

Finally, it was announced that the Saints-Seahawks matchup will be buzzed by a pair of Navy EA-18G jets after the national anthem on Saturday.

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