In all likelihood, the Saints just lost Dez Bryant for the season if not forever. So what’s the next move? They need to get someone else in and quickly.Let’s just get it out of the way. The news about Dez Bryant sucks. No other way to put it. There’s still no definitive word about his status, but it certainly looks like he will not be playing for the Saints in 2018 with his, most likely, torn Achilles. It sucks for Dez. It sucks for the Saints. And it sucks for NFL football fans who do and don’t follow the Saints.Dez Bryant is a big name in a big body who makes big plays. And the crushing truth about what just happened to him is that the type of injury he suffered has a decent chance of being a career ender.As bad as the whole scenario is, the Saints can’t spend any time dwelling on what might have been. They currently have three receivers on the active roster, Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith and Austin Carr. Toss in some looks for Alvin Kamara and tight end Dan Arnold and it’s still not enough to make anybody feel comfortable.The Saints will get back Tommylee Lewis in Week 11 if all goes well. But Lewis isn’t a major contributor, or even a minor one, at receiver. He’s a return specialist who has some gadget plays designed for him. Prior to Taysom Hill’s 2018 incarnation, Tommylee Lewis was that guy but on a much less impressive scale.The Saints could bring back Brandon Marshall and that’s the current buzz from ESPN’s reporting last night following word of the injury to Dez Bryant. But two phrases tied to Marshall should make everybody cautious where he’s regarded: “Locker room cancer” and “35-years old”. There’s also the fact that Marshall has had some amazing seasons in his long career. The most recent being a 1,500 year in 2015 while with the Jets. Since then, he’s struggled with injuries.But it’s clear that the Saints need to do something. Tre’Quan Smith has shown he can contribute and in a big way. He just needs to get more active in the scheme. Whether there are issues with knowing the playbook that have kept him limited, we may never know. We do know that he’s capable of big games like he showed in Week 5 against the Redskins.The best bet for the Saints though is Keith Kirkwood. Currently on the practice squad but someone who showed in training camp and preseason that he’s capable of big things. Similar to Tre’Quan Smith physically, Kirkwood should get a chance in the slot on Sunday against the Bengals. He showed through camp that he could do better than Austin Carr.He’s been mirroring other receivers in practice and is known for his work ethic and physical ability. We still don’t know why he hasn’t had the shot that was given to Carr except that Carr maybe fits the Sean Payton prototype of a slot receiver more physically. A simple eye test puts him in the Lance Moore, Willie Snead mold whereas Kirkwood is in the Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith category.It’s possible, if not probable, the Saints will try to roll with what they’ve got in Week 10. That being Thomas, Smith and Carr at WR with some sprinkling in of Alvin Kamara and Dan Arnold, possibly some Taysom Hill, and an emphasis on the run game.If anything, Sean Payton has proven this year that he can make whatever he needs to work, work for him. Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara have taken the Saints a long way in 2018 to this point. But for the stretch, and injuries always being a potential factor, the wide receiver position will have to be addressed pronto. Next: 2018 Season: New Orleans Saints at the halfway mark Kirkwood is likely. Brandon Marshall should be on your radar. It would have been nice to see Dez Bryant on the field, but the football gods weren’t smiling on the Saints with that deal. We’ve suffered through worse. We’ll just add here that we hope for Dez Bryant that this injury isn’t a long-term setback and say we’d like to see him suit up for us in the future.
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