Veteran TE Nick Vannett activated from Saints injured reserve

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Thursday didn’t bring only bad news for the New Orleans Saints, who activated tight end Nick Vannett from the injured reserve list. Vannett suffered a knee injury in the Saints’ final preseason game and was reportedly expected to miss two to four weeks — instead, he’s been unavailable for two and a half months.

But what’s important is that he brings some badly-needed experience at a position where it’s badly needed. Vannett was talked up as the Saints’ replacement for Josh Hill, handling a variety of blocking assignments while his fleeter-footed teammates Adam Trautman and Juwan Johnson focused on running routes and catching passes.

How the plan changes now will be interesting given Trautman’s poor performance as a pass-catcher and surprising competence as a blocker. Johnson was benched last week to make room for another special teams player but third-wheel Garrett Griffin didn’t see an accompanying workload increase while playing just 11 snaps against Trautman’s 67.

Vannett should be able to cut into that and help Trautman fit into more favorable situations. He was one of the team’s few free agent acquisitions this offseason and the team could really use a nice return on that investment given how badly other moves have panned out, like first-round rookie Payton Turner going to injured reserve.

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