New Orleans Saints Injury Updates

Saints CB Marshon Lattimore left in the 2nd quarter of Sunday's loss to the Falcons with a thigh injury and did not return. Lattimore could be seen jogging on the sideline and riding a stationary bike, trying to make his way back. We'll see if that means New Orleans' lead corner can make it back for next Sunday's trip to Tampa Bay. If he does, Lattimore will be in a good spot for IDP production. If he doesn't, the matchup gets much better for Buccaneers WR Mike Evans.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Saints CB Ken Crawley will be inactive for Sunday night's game against the Vikings. Crawley didn't appear on the injury report at all this week, so it's pretty clear that newly acquired CB Eli Apple is immediately replacing him in the starting lineup. Crawley was just a low-level IDP option anyway, so drop him if you've had him on board.

Saints CB Marshon Lattimore left Sunday's win over Washington twice because of a left ankle injury. He initially hurt it on Washington's 1st series of the game and remained out through the rest of the half. Lattimore returned after the break but left again early in the 3rd quarter and did not return. We'll see about his status heading into a Week 12 visit to the Rams.

The Saints this week placed DT Nick Fairley on the non-football injury/illness list. That deactivates him for the 2017 season, and he's likely done for good, according to the Times-Picayune. Doctors diagnosed Fairly with a heart condition this offseason, and the team reportedly sought out multiple opinions before making the move. It's a particularly unfortunate scenario considering that Fairley had just earned a big new contract after a bounce-back 2016. For fantasy purposes, it at least becomes easier to envision a worthwhile role for 2nd-year DT Sheldon Rankins.

The Saints drafted Florida LB Alex Anzalone in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. Anzalone posted uninspiring numbers in college while dealing with multiple shoulder injuries and a broken left arm. He took a medical redshirt as a 2015 junior after his 2nd shoulder injury and then tallied just 53 total tackles in his lone starting season. Anzalone flashed his athleticism in Senior Bowl workouts and at the Combine, however. He ranked 77th percentile in the 40 and 86th percentile in the 3-cone drill at 6'3 and 241 pounds. We'll see how soon Anzalone can get on the field in a LB corps that has been seeking answers for a while.

The Saints spent the 11th overall pick on Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore. The Buckeyes corner lost 21 games across 2014 and 2015 to hamstring injuries. That left us with little to go on as we try to project fantasy numbers in the pros. Don't expect Lattimore to show up in draft range in our rookie or redraft rankings. We'll see what he can do in season.

The Saints on Saturday activated DL Sheldon Rankins after he missed the 1st 7 games with a leg fracture. The 1st-round pick can only help the front 7 of 1 of the league's worst defenses. New Orleans will not have ILB James Laurinaitis any more this season, though, after placing him on IR with a groin injury. Laurinaitis has offered little value to the team or fantasy owners since arriving after the Rams dumped him in summer. His deactivation makes Nathan Stupar more interesting in IDP leagues as a potential full-time player the rest of the way.

The Saints list S Kenny Vaccaro (ankle), MLB James Laurinaitis (quad) and OLB Dannell Ellerbe (quad) as questionable for Sunday's game in San Diego. According to ESPN's Mike Triplett, Vaccaro has expressed confidence that he'll play after missing Week 3. Laurinaitis was added to the injury report this week and hasn't spoken to reporters since. Ellerbe just returned to practice this week after missing the 1st 3 games. If he remains out of the lineup, Craig Robertson would start in his place again. Should Ellerbe return, IDP owners might want to wait and see him get through a game before using him. Robertson has delivered strong numbers to date, though, indicating the upside in the position.

Saints S Kenny Vaccaro sat out practice Thursday with an ankle issue that knocked him temporarily out of Sunday's loss to the Giants. Vaccaro suffered the injury in the middle of the 3rd quarter, though, yet missed only 6 total defensive snaps. We'd bet on him being OK to play Monday night against the Falcons, but we'll have to watch his status through the weekend. Given the Monday-night kickoff, we'll hope to get a meaningful update before the Sunday games.

Saints OLB Stephone Anthony returned to practice Monday, according to The New Orleans Advocate. That comes about a week and a half after he suffered an unspecified leg injury in the preseason opener. Anthony's return before the 3rd exhibition suggests he'll be fine for the regular season, though we'll keep an eye on his status for IDP purposes. The Saints' depth chart has Anthony starting on the strong side, with James Laurinaitis in the middle and Dannell Ellerbe manning the weak side. DC Dennis Allen doesn't have a clear enough record in the NFL for us to determine which spot presents the highest tackle ceiling in his system. And Anthony's absence has clouded the sub-package plans for the crew. We'll try to decipher that further, but Anthony's age and athleticism keeps him the most intriguing IDP option for now.

Saints ILB Stephone Anthony left Thursday's preseason opener with a still-unspecified leg injury, but it doesn't appear to be too serious. "We were a little fearful it might be something more than it was, but I think we'll have him back sooner than later," HC Sean Payton told NOLA.com. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that a source says Anthony could miss a "couple weeks" but that he's "absolutely" expected back before the regular-season opener. We knocked him down the LB rankings just a tad for now, and we'll keep an eye on the upside 2nd-year player as Week 1 draws nearer.

The Saints have deemed ILB Dannell Ellerbe doubtful for Sunday's game against the Giants because of a hip injury. The guy who would likely replace him, David Hawthorne, has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury. That makes Stephone Anthony the only ILB worth considering for your IDP lineup and adds some tackle upside to his profile.

ESPN's Ed Werder reports that the Saints expect S Jairus Byrd to return to action for Week 2 or Week 3. Byrd missed all of training camp with swelling in the knee that suffered a torn lateral meniscus last October. He's been sidelined by injury much more than he's been on the field since signing with New Orleans last spring and will have to show us something before we're putting him in IDP lineups at this point.

According to ESPN's Britt McHenry, Saints HC Sean Payton said Wednesday that the team's "plan" is to get S Jairus Byrd back on the field before the preseason is over. The veteran has missed most of training camp -- off and on -- to this point, with the team providing very little information on what's actually wrong. It's all quite worrisome for a guy who had back surgery shortly after signing as a free agent last summer and then missed more than half the 2014 season with a knee injury. We'll see where this goes. Byrd certainly doesn't make for a very attractive pick in your IDP league right now.

Saints HC Sean Payton said Monday that his team will treat Sunday's finale just like any other game, even though the Week 16 loss to Atlanta eliminated New Orleans from the playoffs. That's good news for anyone still playing fantasy football in Week 17. We'd be just a bit wary of TE Jimmy Graham in DFS, however. The meaningless week could lead to fewer snaps for the star TE who has been playing through a seemingly limiting shoulder injury and is finishing just the 1st season of his big 4-year contract.

 
 
 

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