While the injury report for the New Orleans Saints was pretty short, there are several key players missing the Sunday contest against the Atlanta Falcons and their replacements will need to fill the gaps in a big way.
On the defense, defensive end Junior Galette was finding success at his increased playing time this season. However, an ankle injury has sidelined him and instead defensive end Turk McBride will fill his spot.
McBride has nursed an ankle injury himself for most of the season causing him to only play in two games this year and register only two tackles. Not a great outlook for going against the formidable Falcons offense.
He will need to play lights out and put pressure on quarterback Matt Ryan in a big way. Otherwise Ryan could have all day in the pocket to throw to weapons like wide receivers Julio Jones, Roddy White, and tight end Tony Gonzales.
On offense the Saints will be without offensive tackle Zach Strief who has a groin injury. It was announced that tackle Charles Brown will take his place.
Brown was a second round draft pick in 2010 for the Saints and head coach Sean Payton said that they drafted him out of USC due to the fact that he had “heavy hands” meaning once he put his paws on you, it would be a sure block against a defensive player.
But Brown hasn’t progressed as quickly as the Saints would have liked and he has only played in 11 games for his career. He has mainly been used on special teams to block for field goals and point after attempts.
When the news came that Brown would fill in for Strief, thoughts immediately came to mind of the game last season against the St. Louis Rams. It’s one that the offensive line would probably like to forget since quarterback Drew Brees spent most of the game on his back or being pressured constantly.
Brown was a part of the line that game and you could see his inexperience and poor technique. He will have to be a big part of keeping Brees upright if the Saints want to keep pace with the Falcons this Sunday.