A plethora of factors have contributed to the New Orleans Saints' early season struggles in 2022, one of which is inconsistency.
We're not one to place all the blame on injuries this year, but.... injuries have forced the Saints to make a flurry of roster changes week after week.
Jameis Winston's health status continues to fluctuate, as does that of Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry. Marshon Lattimore is projected to miss his second straight game, and a handful of other players have also been bitten by the injury bug including Adam Trautman, Deonte Harty, Andrus Peat, Paulson Adebo, and P.J. Williams.
Naturally, the effect of all those injuries is a state of constant lineup flux which includes elevating practice squad players. Wideout Rashid Shaheed, for example, got his first career start on Sunday against the Bengals and arguably made the most pronounced impact with a touchdown on his first catch.
In general, though, the weekly shuffling of lineups doesn't bode well as the team has struggled to string together consistent wins.
Injuries prevent the Saints from becoming a consistent winner in 2022
Of course, other teams have also suffered their share of injuries and managed to work around them.
In the Saints' case, though, key players like Winston (when healthy) and Lattimore are relied upon for their elite offensive and defensive production. Without those guys, there's no way for the starters to gel or develop any kind of rhythm.
In Week 6 against the Bengals, the Saints were forced to close out the game without seven offensive starters. Having to plug in backups who aren't used to playing together drives down team chemistry and morale as a whole, and it's unrealistic to expect Andy Dalton and the Saints to win close games with a ragtag team of second-string or practice squad players (no offense to Rashid Shaheed)
This is not meant to solely blame an unfortunate slew of injuries for the Saints' 2-4 record, and New Orleans should theoretically possess the depth and experience to win games even when they're not at full strength.
The amounting injuries are just something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.