Tre’Quan Smith returns from I.R. among last-minute roster moves

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Kickoff with the Seattle Seahawks is just hours away, which means the New Orleans Saints needed to file a series of roster moves to get everyone together. A number of starters and key contributors are returning from injured reserve while some other players are being promoted from the practice squad for Week 7’s game, and a few others are being let go to make room.

Here’s everything you need to know about from Monday’s update to the daily NFL transactions wire:

WR #10 Tre'Quan Smith activated from injured reserve

New Orleans Saints’ Tre’Quan Smith warms up before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Smith is finally really to play after his training camp hamstring injury lingered into the regular season, and he steps into a void on top of the depth chart at receiver. Marquez Callaway has had more time to get up to speed with Jameis Winston but neither Callaway nor Smith are as electrifying as Deonte Harris, who is out with his own hamstring issue. And none of those players will be confused for Michael Thomas who is still recovering from ankle surgery. How big of a role Smith sees in Seattle is unclear, but there’s no doubt he’ll get opportunities to make plays.

LB #5 Kwon Alexander activated from injured reserve

New Orleans Saints linebacker Kwon Alexander (58) runs a drill during NFL football training camp in Metairie, La., Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

Alexander successfully recovered from offseason Achilles surgery to start Week 1’s game with the Packers, but a subsequent elbow issue has taken him out of action for more than a month. Now he’s back and it’s going to be fascinating to see how many minutes he gets with rookie linebacker Pete Werner playing so well. Maybe the Saints try to get both guys playing to their strengths, with Werner starting in base packages and on obvious running downs, while Alexander gets action in more passing situations.

DE #92 Marcus Davenport activated from injured reserve

New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport kneels prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Davenport’s return comes at an opportune time with Payton Turner down this week after a sudden calf injury. “Two Firsts” was an impact player in Week 1 before suffering his own ailment and we’ll be hoping he returns to form quickly. The Saints pass rusher has looked anemic without him.

WR #17 Kevin White elevated from practice squad

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kevin White (17) runs a route during NFL football training camp practice at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, La,. Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

The Saints are without Deonte Harris this week so White could bring a missing vertical element in his absence, but he dropped several passes thrown his way in preseason and doesn’t have much to offer beyond his physical tools. He’ll be playing behind Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, Ty Montgomery, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey against Seattle.

DT #91 Josiah Bronson elevated from practice squad

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Josiah Bronson (91) and defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh (69) watch a drill during NFL football training camp in Metairie, La,. Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

The big undrafted rookie out of Washington was the first player signed to New Orleans’ practice squad after final roster cuts in August. He’s had time to get up to speed and now he’ll see some action on Monday night against a vulnerable Seahawks offensive line. The Saints haven’t found much success rushing the passer so he has an opportunity to make a quick impression.

G/C #64 Will Clapp released from 53-man roster

New Orleans Saints Will Clapp (64) lines up on the line of scrimmage in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Clapp played sparingly in recent weeks as a reserve on game days, but the return of Erik McCoy to the starting center position pushes Cesar Ruiz back to right guard and bumps Calvin Throckmorton down to Clapp’s role. He could return to the practice squad soon.

DT #95 Albert Huggins released from 53-man roster

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 23: Albert Huggins #95 of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome on August 23, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The other player released to make room for new additions, Huggins was also let go a few weeks ago to help facilitate other transactions. He’s eligible to return to the practice squad if the Saints so choose, and keep in mind that the depth chart will be shaken up next week once David Onyemata finishes serving his suspension.

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