The New Orleans Saints and New York Giants released their initial injury reports on Wednesday, and I’m here to caution you from the jump against hitting the panic button.
New Orleans played an abnormally long game against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, and players were still feeling the effects come Wednesday’s first practice. The Saints-Falcons bout lasted 3 hours, 38 minutes which is significantly longer than the Saints’ first two games: 2 hours, 55 minutes against the Cleveland Browns and 3 hours, 13 minutes versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Put another way, the Saints set season highs in snaps on offense (79), defense (68), and special teams (36). An NFL game puts wear and tear on the body like nothing else, with studies indicating that the stress is comparable to a low-speed car accident. The longer-than-usual game time in Atlanta showed up on Wednesday in the numerous Saints held to limited participation.
Here’s what was made official:
From the Saints
Seven Saints were limited participants in Wednesday’s practice, including some household names: tailback Alvin Kamara (knee), defensive end Cameron Jordan (biceps), left tackle Terron Armstead (knee), left guard Andrus Peat (ankle), wideouts Cameron Meredith (knee) and Ted Ginn Jr. (knee), and nose tackle Tyeler Davison (foot).
That’s a lot to read, but it’s not much to worry about – yet. Most of these players saw most of the snaps played against Atlanta, and their limited reps on Wednesday were probably just precautions. Kamara specifically played the highest snap count of his pro and college careers, and likely needed the rest. Other players like Armstead, Meredith, and Ginn have appeared on previous injury reports as limited and played without problems on game day.
Two other Saints did not participate at all: linebacker Manti Te’o (knee) and defensive back Patrick Robinson (ankle). Robinson was later officially placed on injured reserve, while Te’o continues to work back from a knee injury that pulled him from last week’s game against Cleveland.
From the Giants
Meanwhile, in New York: just one Giants player was a limited participant in starting linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), who has not practiced at all since an Aug. 27 injury. That’s the extent of good news for Big Blue.
Seven Giants were listed at not participating in any period of Wednesday’s practice. Starters like tight end Evan Engram (knee), nose tackle Damon Harrison (knee), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), and linebacker Connor Barwin (knee) as well as depth players such as cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee), and tailback Jonathan Stewart (foot) were also not active in practice. It’s too soon to guess at how many of them will be ready to play on Sunday.