The Falcons are set to host the Saints on Sunday in a divisional contest that will place the winner in sole possession of first place in the NFC South. Both clubs are coming off bye weeks, but both teams are dealing with their fair share of injuries.
Atlanta will be without Grady Jarrett, who suffered a season-ending injury about a month ago. Ryan Nielsen’s defense has taken a noticeable step back without its leader, and that was only exacerbated in the Falcons’ last game when the team was without David Onyemata.
Thankfully, the former Saints defender will be back to face his former team, along with Dee Alford, who also missed Atlanta’s Week 10 contest against the Cardinals. Mack Hollins didn’t return to practice on Monday, though.
For New Orleans, Dennis Allen’s team could be without three of their best players.
Derek Carr left the Saints’ Week 10 game against the Vikings with a concussion, and Allen said at a Monday press conference that the veteran remains in the league’s concussion protocol. There’s no indication of how he is trending, but I’d wager Carr will do anything he can to be on the field Sunday.
In addition to Carr, New Orleans lost Michael Thomas, who injured his knee, and Marshon Lattimore, who hurt his ankle. Allen told reporters that he expects both to miss some time but wouldn’t say whether either would need an injured reserve stint.
Carr and Lattimore are massive pieces of this Saints team. Though New Orleans isn’t having the season many had hoped with Carr, he’s still a better option than Jameis Winston. And I don’t have to tell Falcons fans just how important Marshon Lattimore is to the Saints’ defense; he’s one of the best players in the league at his position.
The Falcons could once again have the health advantage on Sunday.
Photographer: David Jensen/Icon Sportswire