August 30, 2011

Saints head into to preseason finale with injuries

Some injuries of note for the Saints as they head into the preseason finale in two days:

Rookie standout Joe Morgan had surgery yesterday on his injured right knee and will be back in action in 3-4 weeks.  Whether he is back in action as a Saint is the question.  If the Saints keep him, it will be at the expense of another Saint wide receiver who is healthy, and the Saints already have an injury concern with Lance Moore, whose groin injury may keep him out of the opener.

Morgan is not eligible to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list since he participated in training camp.  The Saints could end Morgan's rookie season by placing him on injured reserve, retaining his contract through the season and setting him up for a return in 2012.  Or, the Saints could waive him with an injury settlement and re-sign him to the practice squad when healthy, though he would be free to sign with any time at that point.

Fellow undrafted rookie WR Jarred Fayson was waived with an injury settlement due to an ankle injury.

In 2012, teams will be allowed to carry 46 players in uniform on game days, period, with no more exceptions or rules regarding the availability of the "emergency" quarterback.  The Saints, who typically carry only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster anyway, will be able to dress an extra special teams player and deactivate only seven players.

First round pick DE Cameron Jordan, who apparently inherited the starting job with the release of Alex Brown, missed practice on Tuesday, though we presume it wasn't because of his new hair cut.  He was healthy enough to go to the mall and pick up Madden 12.  Fellow starting DE Will Smith was excused from practice because of a death in the family.

QB Chase Daniel, who banged his throwing hand against a defender in the Saints' 40-20 preseason victory in Oakland, missed practice on Tuesday, though the Saints offered no official injury report.  RB Pierre Thomas also missed practice, no news on what injury it could be for.

"I’m not really going to it on participation or any injuries until next Monday when we’re required to do so," Sean Payton said on Tuesday.

The Saints did not tip their hand to the severity of the injury and sign another backup quarterback, unlike what they did with John Kasay.  The hip injury to Garrett Hartley, which could be a painful hip flexor injury, has unconfirmed severity but is important enough to have signed a dependable veteran like Kasay.

After the final preseason game, the Saints will cut down from 80 to 53 men.  Seventh round pick Greg Romeus is expected to be placed on injured reserve as he continued to rehab a collegiate knee injury.  RB Chris Ivory is expected to be placed on the PUP with his offseason Lisfranc injury.  Six weeks into the season, the Saints would be forced to activate Ivory or place him on the injured reserve list. The Saints' gameday inactives list will feature DT Aubrayo Franklin and WR Lance Moore, at least for week one.

Good news for the Saints were that starting LG Carl Nicks, third round CB Johnny Patrick, DE Jeff Charleston and SS Roman Harper all returned to practice on Tuesday.

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