Saints claim OL Derrick Kelly off of waivers from the Jets

·2 min read

There were just a few roster moves reported by the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday’s update to the daily NFL transactions wire, with the big news being the return of Derrick Kelly. Kelly, who turns 27 next week, turned pro with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent out of Florida State back in 2019. He wasn’t re-signed after the 2021 season and ended up with the New York Jets, who released him at this week’s NFL roster cuts deadline.

Kelly played 16 snaps at left tackle for the Jets in their first preseason game — the Saints have deployed him primarily at right tackle and, in a pinch, at left guard in the past. He brings more experience than other backups on the roster like undrafted rookies Sage Doxtater and Lewis Kidd, but should still slot in behind the likes of Landon Young and Trevor Penning with Ryan Ramczyk and James Hurst holding down the starting jobs.

But that’s assuming everyone is healthy, which wasn’t the case on Wednesday with Ramczyk and Young resting while Hurst, Penning, and Doxtater left practice with apparent injuries (Penning, at least, was able to return to close out the session). The Saints could use all the reinforcements they can get after losing another experienced backup, Ethan Greenidge, to a season-ending injury.

As for their other move on the wire: defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson has been designated to injured reserve. Johnson, 28, recently re-signed with New Orleans after missing five days of practice and their first preseason game, having been waived on Aug. 10. Now his year is over with an injury. The specifics of what he’s dealing with remain undisclosed, but it’s a tough break for a player in his position.

And as for the Saints: they could be looking for a replacement in the interior rotation — as it happens, the Jacksonville Jaguars released nose tackle Malcom Brown on the same day, who first arrived in Jacksonville through a late-summer trade with New Orleans. Maybe another reunion is in the cards. Stay tuned.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire