New Orleans Saints hurting, go on holiday shopping spree

By The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 18, 2015 at 1:15 AM
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METAIRIE, La. -- Thanks to a burgeoning injured reserve list, the New Orleans Saints must look for veteran players to help them get through the final three games of the season.

The latest additions for the Saints are former San Francisco 49ers running back Kendall Hunter and former Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts cornerback Tony Carter.

Both were signed Wednesday when the Saints put running back/kick returner Marcus Murphy on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain, while cornerback Damian Swann joined him after suffering a third concussion in two months.

The Saints now have three running backs on IR and five defensive backs on the season-ending reserve list.

Starting running back Mark Ingram and backup Khiry Robinson went on IR before Murphy, while cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and P.J. Williams and safeties Rafael Bush and Vinnie Sunseri preceded Swann.

All told, the Saints have 13 players on injured reserve.

--The loss of Swann was a big one for the Saints after he suffered a concussion in the last three games he played in against the Philadelphia Eagles (Oct. 11), New York Giants (Nov. 1) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday).

Swann, a fifth-round draft pick, had moved into the role as the starting nickel back after a solid training camp and was getting more action as the season progressed prior to his first concussion against the Eagles.

After ESPN reported Swann suffered a third concussion, Saints coach Sean Payton declined to confirm the injury Monday, but later in the day indicated Swann was headed to IR.

Payton said the key was to make sure Swann, who missed four games and had a bye week after his second concussion before being allowed to return, is 100 percent healthy for next season.

--Saints defensive tackle Kevin Williams, a five-time All-Pro pick, passed a personal milestone Sunday against the Bucs when he played in his 200th NFL game.

The 35-year-old Williams, who is now in his 13th season, joined a select group of active players -- including teammate Drew Brees -- who have already reached that threshold.

The group includes three other quarterbacks, one wide receiver, one tight end, one defensive back and one other defensive lineman -- Green Bay Packers pass rusher Julius Peppers.

"I didn't really think about it that much (last week)," Williams said of reaching the milestone. "I told my wife, and I was like, 'That's a lot of games.' I don't know, my teammates talked about it more than I did. I just go play."

Williams, who has missed just five games in his career, has been a nice addition for the Saints this season. He's played in more than 52 percent of the defensive snaps this season with 28 tackles, two forced fumbles and two passes broken up.

--Left tackle Terron Armstead (knee) was held out of Thursday's practice, but should play in Monday night's game with the Detroit Lions.

--Free safety Jairus Byrd (knee) didn't participate in practice Thursday and his availability for the game with the Lions was not known.

--Right guard Jahri Evans (ankle) returned to work on a limited basis Thursday after missing the last two games and his status for this week is unknown.

--Defensive tackle John Jenkins (concussion) worked limited Thursday for the first time after missing two games and it's not known if he'll return Monday night.

--Right tackle Zach Strief (hip/shoulder) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice and his availability for the game with the Lions was not known.

--Cornerback Damian Swann (concussion) was put on injured reserve Wednesday after suffering his third concussion in less than two months last week.

--Running back/Kick returner Marcus Murphy (ankle) went on injured reserve Wednesday after being injured in last week's win against the Tampa Bay Bucs.

--Defensive end Phillip Hunt, who was signed last month, was waived Monday without playing a game for the Saints.

--Cornerback Tony Carter was signed to take Damian Swann's spot on the active roster after Swann was put on injured reserve.

--Running back Kendall Hunter was added to the active roster to replace Marcus Murphy after he went on injured reserve.

--Fullback Toben Opurum was promoted from the practice squad to take the roster spot of Phillip Hunt, who was cut earlier this week.

--Wide receiver Shane Wynn was signed to take Toben Opurum's spot on the practice squad.

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