September 30, 2011

Herring, Kreutz, Strief, Thomas, Wilson out in Jax on Sunday

Jacksonville managed to sell out its stadium for their home game against the Saints, lifting a blackout.  The Saints meanwhile, are also looking for ways to get more people into the stadium for the game.  They will be down at least two starters on the offensive line and at linebacker.

Starting right tackle Zach Strief (right knee), starting center Olin Kreutz (left knee), rotational starting linebackers Will Herring (hamstring) and rookie Martez Wilson (stinger) and backup TE David Thomas (concussion) have all be ruled out of the game. Replacing them in the lineups will be, respectively: T Charles Brown, G/C Brian de la Puente, LB Jonathan Casillas and TE John Gilmore, Jr.

Depth at linebacker, where the Saints finished the Texans game with three healthy linebackers, was addressed with the addition of Ramon Humber, who was with the Saints in training camp. The Saints were so thin on the offensive line that Kreutz limped back on to the field to protect an extra point.

With Strief and Tennant out, journeyman de la Puente will be backed up by Matt Tennant.  Strief will be replaced by 2010 second-round pick Charles Brown, who will make his first NFL start, and backed up by newly-signed street free agent Pat McQuistan.

And while none of those injuries are long-term, it will be tight on Sunday.  Starting middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma is questionable with a knee injury, as is WR Marques Colston, who has just recently been cleared to practice after recovering from a fractured collarbone.

CB Tracy Porter is expected to play this weekend after missing the past two games.

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