The New Orleans Saints are starting to cut down their roster, now that the preseason games are over and peoples cases have been finalized for now. Rosters must be cut down by Tuesday afternoon.
Some players have worked their way into being no-brainers to make the final roster, while others may have had their roster spot slip out of their hands
Last week, before the final preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers we took a look at six roster bubble players who needed a big game, here is where those players now stand as they await their fate:
WR/RB Kirk Merritt
AP Photo/Derick Hingle
Merritt has been an impact player for the Saints this preseason on both special teams and as a wide receiver, continuing to make his case for a roster spot. He even has logged some time as a running back. We mentioned last week that he had needed to come with a big offensive performance and he did just that hauling in 4 catches and one of them ending in a touchdown. The former Destrehan student still isn’t a lock to make the final roster, but his odds are looking better and better.
RB Tony Jones Jr.
AP Photo/Matt Ludtke
Neither Tony Jones Jr. nor Abram Smith had much luck getting things going on the ground, both averaging under 3 yards per carry. This may be a good thing for Jones as he had already made a better case for the roster than Smith. Jones also logged two catches from the backfield, showing some versatility. If the Saints want to keep a fourth running back, I believe that Jones will get the nod, though Dwayne Washington still likely has the inside track for that third running back.
OL Lewis Kidd
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Kidd saw a lot of action as a tackle Friday night, majorly contributing to one of the two Mark Ingram touchdowns. As Hurst is injured, Kidd will likely be kept around at least on the practice squad. He certainly looks like a solid depth piece for a team that loves to keep around versatile linemen.
LB Zack Baun
AP Photo/Derick Hingle
Zack Baun walked away with two tackles including one for a loss, but it may not be enough as there have been a couple of linebackers who have made bigger splashes this offseason. I would suspect the Saints keep him around on the practice squad to keep the potential that they drafted him for, but at this point I would be surprised if he was on the inital 53-man. The linebacker battle has been fierce this offseason, especially with the recent emergence of Nephi Sewell and solid play of Eric Wilson.
DL Malcolm Roach
AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.
Malcolm Roach was looking good up to this point the preseason and training camp, but an injury in Friday night’s game kept him from making any further impact on his roster status. As far as depth defensive tackles have looked, I would say that Roach still has an edge on some of his competition. Keeping Roach around would offer some continuity, which is of course something that this Saints team always prioritizes.
S Justin Evans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
If there is anyone on this list that should be a lock to make the 53 man roster, it should be Justin Evans in my opinion. Finally healthy again, he has proven to be a great depth piece that should be leaned on while Marcus Maye is suspended and kept around after the suspension is over. Evans really impressed and looked to be getting back to the level of play that caused him to be a second round selection. I would like to see what this Saints staff could get out of him after a few weeks.