New Orleans Saints: Could the ball finally be bouncing their way?
By Jake White
The New Orleans Saints finally have some good news. Dannell Ellerbe, Jairus Byrd, and Keenan Lewis are all listed as probable for the Sunday night game, as well as Drew Brees. This could be the spark the Saints need to help turn their season around. The Saints’ defense has seen improvements, but they are still young and inexperienced. Getting these key players back in the mix should give this entire team as a whole a huge boost.
The playmaking free safety Jairus Byrd should finally be on the field. Many fans have been a little frustrated with Byrd because he has been nursing a knee injury most of his time with the New Orleans Saints, having only played in four games last year and missing all of the preseason and first three regular season games. It was really a mystery about when he would be back, but now the time is here. This guy should be a difference maker in the Saints secondary. Byrd is potentially the Saints’ best playmaker on defense and hopefully will help get the club some more takeaways. Maybe their first interception?
Keenan Lewis is a very underrated cover guy. He is great at man to man and will be a huge lift in the secondary. I know when camp started everyone was excited to see Lewis and Brandon Browner on the field together, but it got put on hold when Lewis had a hip injury, which required surgery. The fans may not have to wait too much longer to see the two former college teammates back on the field together. With the emergence of Delvin Breaux and Damian Swann, the New Orleans Saints are going to have some much needed depth with these key players back in the lineup.
More from Saints News
- Are the Saints playoff contenders or pretenders in 2022?
- 3 takeaways from Saints unofficial depth chart ahead of preseason opener
- Saints 2022 Training Camp: Top 5 takeaways from Day 13
- 3 things to know about new Saints QB K.J. Costello
- Kirk Merritt could be a difficult player for the Saints to cut
Dannell Ellerbe might be that piece the Saints been missing at the linebacker position. He is the best cover linebacker the Saints have and should fit in nicely with rookies Stephone Anthony and Hau’oli Kikaha at the linebacker position, especially if he does what he did with Baltimore. Having a linebacker that can cover will help the defense in so many different ways. Ellerbe is one of those guys that does everything well, he just needs to stay healthy. He never really got to show what he could do with the Miami Dolphins, but hopefully this guy is fully healthy and can help improve the front seven down on the bayou.
Obviously all three players aren’t going to come in and play every down — they’ll likely be on pitch count to shake some rust off and re-familiarize themselves with the defense. If they do end up playing this weekend, I wouldn’t expect too much from them.
Ellerbe only played one game for the Dolphins last year and Byrd just played four with the Saints, so it may take a little while to get them back to where they were. But it seems like they will all see some playing time against the Dallas Cowboys, whether it’s just on a limited basis or not, who knows? But the good news is they’re at least at practice and are considered probable. Getting back on the field and getting in football shape is a huge step in the right direction for the New Orleans Saints.
Gaining chemistry with the rest of the players will probably be the biggest test for them, but hopefully it doesn’t take too long — they’re professionals for a reason. It’s just nice to finally have something positive happen for the Saints this year. Is the ball finally bouncing their way? At 0-3, this team has a lot to fix and a lot to prove, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.