Saints complete a flurry of last-minute roster moves before Week 11 kickoff vs. Rams

It’s not surprising to see a team with as many injuries as the New Orleans Saints shuffling players around, but this is a lot of movement even for their always-busy standards. They’re dealing with absences along the offensive and defensive lines, in the secondary, and in the backfield. Let’s break down each move:

TE Nick Vannett waived from the 53-man roster

Some players had to be outgoing to open slots for new additions, and that included the veteran tight end Vannett. He took a pay cut in the offseason to hang around with New Orleans, but Vannett was leapfrogged by both Adam Trautman and Juwan Johnson on the depth chart. He’s totaled just 64 snaps on offense through three games this season, catching 2 passes to gain 13 yards.

FB J.P. Holtz waived from the 53-man roster

Holtz was also waived this weekend. He’s listed as a tight end but almost exclusively lines up at all fullback for New Orleans, and he’s become a luxury after the team promoted his backup Adam Prentice from the practice squad last week. Now Prentice is the lone fullback under contract. Holtz has logged 85 snaps on offense and 42 reps on special teams through 5 games this season.

DB Bryce Thompson promoted from the practice squad

Thompson is a young player with some experience in the Saints’ system at a couple of different spots in the secondary; he played corner in college at Tennessee and has cross-trained at safety with New Orleans. They’ll need him with so many injuries at defensive back. Thompson has bounced on and off of the practice squad this season, logging 49 snaps on special teams but playing just 6 reps on defense through 5 games.

OL Yasir Durant promoted from the practice squad

Like Thompson, Durant has been signed to the Saints’ 53-man roster, and he’s active on Sunday. New Orleans is down its starting left tackle (James Hurst, with a concussion) and center (Erik McCoy, with a calf injury), and left guard Andrus Peat may not play much despite being active (due to a triceps injury), so they’ll need him. He played well at left tackle in college for Missouri but has moved inside to guard in the NFL, appearing in 11 games with the Kansas City Chiefs and 7 games with the New England Patriots.

RB David Johnson elevated from the practice squad

Johnson was just signed this week but he’s already getting an opportunity with Mark Ingram II on the mend with a knee injury. He’s a standard elevation, meaning he’s eligible to play in Sunday’s game with the Rams before reverting to the practice squad — unlike Thompson and Durant, who were both signed to the 53-man roster. Let’s see what Johnson has left in the tank.

DE Jabari Zuniga elevated from the practice squad

Zuniga is set to make his Saints debut, having been brought up this week along with Johnson. He’s a former third-round draft pick by the New York Jets (out of Florida) who spent time with the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year. New Orleans is missing both starting defensive ends this week (Cameron Jordan has an orbital bone fracture, and Marcus Davenport is out for his second game with a calf injury) leaving Zuniga in the rotation along with Payton Turner, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Carl Granderson.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire