The New Orleans Saints filed a long list of roster moves with the daily NFL transactions wire, including the expected return of quarterback Drew Brees and surprising loss of wide receiver Michael Thomas — who will be joined on injured reserve by returns specialist Deonte Harris.
There’s a lot to catch up on before Sunday’s game with the Kansas City Chiefs. Let’s get to it.
QB #9 Drew Brees activated from injured reserve
This move was coming, and it couldn’t be happening at a better time. Brees takes over with his team having clinched a playoff spot and needing just one more win to secure their fourth consecutive NFC South championship. He’ll have an opportunity to undo some of the derision New Orleans earned in last week’s loss to the lowly Philadelphia Eagles by upsetting the Chiefs.
WR #13 Michael Thomas designated to injured reserve
Thomas getting sidelined for the rest of the regular season was reported earlier on Saturday, but it’s still surprising given the progress he appeared to be making in recent games. But his health is paramount and it makes sense to rest him for games in January now that the Saints have already guaranteed themselves a postseason berth.
WR #11 Deonte Harris designated to injured reserve
But this caught us by surprise. Harris practiced on a limited basis this week after missing several games with a neck injury, and the Saints are taking a similarly cautious approach to make sure he’s ready for when it counts the most. Like Thomas, he’ll be eligible to return in three weeks.
WR #84 Lil’Jordan Humphrey promoted from practice squad
Humphrey is one of several practice squad call-ups, and his experience in the system (combined with absences for Thomas and Harris) should get him on the field early and often. Remember, the Saints are also missing rookie standout Marquez Callaway. Humphrey could very well be their third-best receiver on Sunday behind Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders.
OL #64 Will Clapp signed to active roster
Clapp should be the sixth man in uneven fronts and the go-to backup behind guards Andrus Peat and Cesar Ruiz. With Nick Easton ruled out because of his second concussion this season, Clapp probably won’t have to wait long to get on the field.
WR #83 Juwan Johnson signed to active roster
The rookie is set to make another game appearance, though he hasn’t drawn many targets yet. He’s an asset in the running game as a blocker out on the perimeter and could help revitalize the designed screens that lost efficiency with Taysom Hill at quarterback.
WR #14 Tommylee Lewis signed to active roster
With Harris on ice, expect to see Lewis out to receive punts and kickoffs. Like Clapp and Johnson, he’s been stashed away on the practice squad until injuries created an opening for him to get back on the active roster.
QB #15 Trevor Siemian waived from active roster
Now that Brees is healthy enough to play again, Siemian will go on waivers -- but don’t be shocked if he ends up on the practice squad as a “break glass in case of emergency” option should something disastrous happen to the Saints quarterbacks depth chart.
TE #45 Garrett Griffin waived from active roster
The veteran tight end hasn’t had much to do with rookie draft pick Adam Trautman making strides, though he’s been a big help as a blocker with Josh Hill and Jared Cook managing injuries. He still has practice squad eligibility this year, so this probably isn’t the last we’ve seen of him.