Cameron Meredith was the middle target in a trio of New Orleans Saints receivers sprinting into the deep portion of the Redskins’ zone coverage.
Drew Brees found Meredith right at the top of his drop, and it was no wonder why. It looked to be a perfect play call, as Meredith was running free and open with his teammates eating up the coverage to his left and right. Brees underthrew him a tad, just enough to make sure he did not overthrow an open receiver.
Forty-six yards, first and goal. Up to that point, it was the longest pass play of the season for the Saints, and for Meredith, it was another little mile marker to cross off on his return from an ACL injury that cost him all of last season.
“I think every week has been an improvement,” Meredith said. “To do that and to stay healthy throughout that is a big deal for me.”
With Ted Ginn being held out with an injury, Meredith and rookie Tre’Quan Smith were handed a heavier workload. For Meredith, that meant five catches (on five targets) for 71 yards, both of which are his top marks in a Saints uniform.
The Saints have taken it slow with Meredith. They backed off his reps in training camp and eased him into the preseason games, not receiving a target until the third week of the preseason. He was inactive for the first two weeks of the regular season, though coach Sean Payton kept saying Meredith was on a positive track.
“We’re slowly working our way back in, and every week is different,” Meredith said. “… (Monday), I had an opportunity to get a lot of targets, and I made the most of them.”
It was not all good for Meredith against Washington. He also was responsible for the Saints’ lone turnover, when he fumbled toward the end of the first half.
“It was two-minute mode and I should’ve just went down, but I was trying to tuck the ball away and turn upfield,” Meredith said. “I’ve just got to protect the ball and keep us in a good position.”
The fumble ultimately did not come back to hurt the Saints in a game they won by a comfortable margin. In fact, the only thing that seemed to bother Meredith after the game was his big 46-yard catch in the second quarter.
“I was just mad I didn’t score,” Meredith said.
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