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Breaking down the final Saints injury report for Week 9 vs. Falcons

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The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons filed their final injury report for Week 9’s matchup with quarterback Taysom Hill returning to play after a weeks-long absence, though several of his teammates are questionable for Sunday’s kickoff. Three others have been preemptively ruled out entirely.

You can find the full injury report here, with details on every player listed as well as those on various reserve lists explained below:

Out

Oct 31, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) appears from the medical tent against Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

  • Quarterback Jameis Winston (knee) will go to injured reserve soon after being diagnosed with a torn ACL, but he’s also going to have to overcome damage to his MCL in the same knee. He’s facing a long recovery and won’t be able to play again this season.

  • However, less is known of the injury that Carl Granderson (shoulder) is managing. The third-year defensive end has been a solid backup pass rusher for the Saints, but his role has diminished ever since Marcus Davenport returned to the lineup.

  • The other player preemptively ruled out is Ty Montgomery (hamstring), who has been a valuable asset in special teams coverage while filling in at both wide receiver and running back on offense. His versatility will be missed even if he’s not a prominent contributor.

Questionable

New Orleans Saints defensive end Payton Turner sits on the bench during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

  • Defensive back Malcolm Jenkins (knee) may be a game-time decision. He hasn’t missed a snap since logging 97% of defensive plays in Week 2, and he hasn’t missed a game at all since 2013. Hopefully he’ll be able to go on Sunday because his leadership in the secondary allows an easy communication between different defensive units that you don’t find often around the NFL. Jenkins was a non-participant in Wednesday’s session before practicing on a limited basis Thursday and Friday.

  • Additionally, rookie defensive end Payton Turner (calf) is questionable to play after sitting out the last two games. He was limited in practice throughout the week, but the team probably wants to evaluate him in pregame warmups before making a decision. If he does play, look for him to rotate into the lineup with Tanoh Kpassagnon behind Davenport and Cameron Jordan.

Available

Jul 31, 2021; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead (72) looks on during a New Orleans Saints training camp session at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

  • Quarterback Taysom Hill (concussion) will make his return, having been out of action since Oct. 10’s game with the Washington Football Team. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice but was upgraded to full participation on Thursday and Friday. We already know that Trevor Siemian got the starting nod this week, but expect Hill to still get into the game in his dynamic positionless role.

  • Running back Dwayne Washington (neck) is also making his post-bye week debut, having been sidelined in that same Washington game after a collision with an opponent while covering a punt. Having him back to help out in the kicking game will be big especially with Montgomery out, but don’t look for him to see many snaps on offense behind Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.

  • Left tackle Terron Armstead (groin) has been limited in practice throughout the week, which was also the case last week. He’s been nicked up with some minor issues and the Saints have given him a lighter workload to help manage it. Hopefully it’s enough to help him play all four quarters against the Falcons. His backup James Hurst is already expected to fill in at left guard after Andrus Peat’s season-ending chest injury.

  • Cornerback Marshon Lattimore (hand) is still wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired hand and is receiving treatment, so he’s going to continue to be listed on the report. He needs to get back to full health soon; he’s had some issues adjusting to receivers at the top of their routes, allowing long touchdown receptions to DK Metcalf and Mike Evans in recent weeks.

Designated to return

New Orleans Saints tight end Nick Vannett (81) runs a drill during the team’s NFL football training camp practice in Metairie, La., Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. (David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP)

  • Tight end Nick Vannett (knee) is one of the few players still eligible to return from injured reserve, and we was spotted at practice this week, so that’s a good sign. Backup tight end Garrett Griffin seemed to have some immediate chemistry with Trevor Siemian last week (which makes sense given their shared time on the second-string offense) so the Saints have some juggling to do at the position once Vannett gets the green light to play.

  • Another name to watch is cornerback Ken Crawley (knee), who was also designated to return from injured reserve a few weeks ago. There isn’t an immediate need for him given how well the starters have been playing but he’s still an experienced presence you’d like to have available once healthy.

  • Linebacker Chase Hansen (groin) also has not yet been activated after being designated to return. It’s unclear what role he’ll have once he gets back from injured reserve — possibly helping out on special teams with Kaden Elliss, Zack Baun, and Andrew Dowell. But he isn’t back yet.

Eligible to return

New Orleans Saints running back Tony Jones, Jr. is carted off the field after being injured in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

  • Running back Tony Jones Jr. (ankle) remains out of action after his early-season injury. While he’s eligible to be designated for return from injured reserve at any time, that won’t happen until he’s made enough progress to be cleared for a return to practice. And as we’ve seen with other players, it could take weeks until he’s ready to get into a game. But with Kamara and Ingram reunited on top of the depth chart there’s no need to rush him back.

Out for the season

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 25: Andrus Peat #75 of the New Orleans Saints is tended to by medical staff during the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on October 25, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

  • Injured reserve: G Andrus Peat, K Wil Lutz, T Ethan Greenidge, DT Jalen Dalton, TE Dylan Soehner

  • Physically unable to perform: WR Michael Thomas

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