The Saints were thin at cornerback (they had only three active CBs) Sunday in their loss to the 49ers, and they could be again Thursday night against the Falcons.
New Orleans has relied on younger players like rookie Corey White and second-year veteran Johnny Patrick at nickel back, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said Monday that the team needs to patient with them. White has missed the past two games with a knee injury he suffered the last time New Orleans faced Atlanta (Week 10), and backup CB Elbert Mack was also out Sunday — he’s recovering from a concussion.
“(Patrick) went in there and did an admirable job,” Spagnuolo said of Patrick’s performance as the full-time nickel back Sunday. “There were some things we need to get better at. We’ll see where Corey’s at and Elbert Mack. We’re in a short week. I’d like to get Corey White back. He had a really good game in the game he got hurt if you go back. He (was) kind of coming on.
“When you’re playing young guys, sometimes you have to be patient with them. I learned my lesson a few years back when I was very impatient at that position and nobody got good.”
Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns vs. the Saints in Week 10. White made the Saints’ lone interception in that game.