WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVUE) - The Saints are now one preseason game in and are dealing with some significant injuries that should force them to adapt their roster to their current status. Here is my latest projection.
-Grayson showed enough growth in his preseason action to stick around. He still isn't surpassing McCown for the backup job but he's done enough to be on the 53.
Running Back (5):
-Sticking with the same running back group. Both Murphy and Lasco played well on offense and special teams. As long as Austin Johnson is out, I'll have to project Kuhn in the fullback spot.
Wide Receiver (5):
Tommy Lee Lewis
-If they keep five receivers, the fifth has to be Lewis. The problem is with injuries elsewhere, they may not have the luxury of keeping five wideouts. Yes, I too have my concerns about Coleman.
Tight End (3):
-Fleener ability as a receiver may allow the Saints to keep one less in the WR group. That will be decided as camp and preseason unfolds. Regardless, this group stays at three with three veterans.
Offensive Line (7):
-Hills has played well but injuries at other positions force the Saints to go with seven for the time being.
Defensive End (5):
-Tull needs a better showing this week, but I think he sticks around. Richardson's ability to play inside is even more valuable now with the Rankins' injury.
Defensive Tackle (5):
-It could always be worse for the Saints with Rankins' injury. However, his broken fibula will force this group to adjust. I wouldn't be shocked if they bring in a veteran for depth. Until that happens, I'm sticking with this five.
-Anthony should be ready to go for the season opener. Thus, this group remains strong with both depth and athleticism.
-This is where things get tricky with the roster. How long will Lewis be out? And if it drifts well into the season, how many cornerbacks do the Saints have to keep? Just having four with Lewis out feels too thin in today's NFL. Thus, I've added one more to the group. Harris bumps Crawley, while Finnegan finds his way onto the roster.
-No changes here. This remains a deep group.
-It's starting to feel like the momentum is shifting for Barth in the kicker battle.