Saints: Tommylee Lewis lands on injured reserve, thinning WR depth

Tommylee Lewis, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Tommylee Lewis, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Add Tommylee Lewis to the list of New Orleans Saints wide receivers who won’t be playing this season.

Three weeks after the Saints signed Lewis during training camp, Sean Payton announced on Friday that Lewis would be placed on injured reserve to make room for free agent signing saftety Jeff Heath on the roster.

Lewis suffered an injury in practice that caused him to miss a few days, and now he’ll be out for the 2021 season.

He’s played a career 39 games for New Orleans and saw action on special teams as a kick and punt returner in five games last season. In 2020, he had just one catch for five yards, but from 2016 to 2018 he recorded 20 catches for 252 yards and two touchdowns.

His numbers admittedly don’t place him among the elite pass-catchers in New Orleans, but he was a good depth piece, at least.

His absence should draw concern mostly because we don’t know who the Saints have at wide receiver at this point. This Saints’ reporter breaks it down for us:

The arguably top three receivers on that list, Thomas, Smith, and Harris, will be missing time this season, which leaves few quality viable options for Winston or Hill to throw to.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis is placed on injured reserve this season

Following the first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Saints wide receiver corps wasn’t a total bust, though.

Marquez Callaway was the de facto No. 1 wide receiver in the game, and he looked mostly comfortable running routes as he started to develop chemistry with Hill, in particular. Callaway caught three passes on four targets for 61 yards, earning the second-highest receiving yards of the night (Juwan Johnson bested him at 71 yards).

The rest of the Saints’ receivers hardly separated themselves from the pack. Humphrey, Winston, Montgomery, and Baker each recorded double-digit receiving yards, but none established themselves as worthy downfield threats.

Hogan trailed the others with one catch for five yards, which just doesn’t give us much to write about.

New Orleans’ next preseason game on Monday could bring out more fire from their wide receivers, but as it stands, the sorry state of the receiver unit threatens the success of the Saints’ passing game heading into 2021. Winston or Hill could develop into top-caliber quarterbacks this season, but neither can maximize his potential if the wide receivers aren’t on top of their game.

For now, we could do without anymore bad news about the wide receiver unit coming out of Saints’ camp. Despite many others’ promising training camp performances, Callaway stands out as the emblem of consistency for the Saints’ receivers.

We say that cautiously, because next game he could just as easily tumble down what should be more aptly named the Saints’ receiver “shallowness” chart.

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