Saints open Derek Carr era against Titans, Derrick Henry

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 4:05 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Saints are gearing up to open the 2023 season at home against the Tennessee Titans.

Kickoff is slated for Sun., Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. CST.

Caesar’s Superdome will be the stage for a matchup between two teams determined to rebound from disappointing 7-10 seasons.

The game will feature two inspirational honorary captains. Former Titans linebacker Tim Shaw, diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2014, will join former Saints safety Steve Gleason, who also battles ALS, as honorary team captain.

The Saints will be notably without star running back Alvin Kamara, who begins his three-game suspension for his arrest in a Las Vegas nightclub brawl.

The Saints revealed their uniform choice for the season opener; black jerseys with matching black pants.

On the injury front, Saints rookie running back Kendre Miller’s status is in jeopardy after suffering a hamstring injury and missing practice.

If Miller is absent from Sunday’s game, there’s not much depth behind Jamaal Williams to rely on. Fourth-year pro Kirk Merritt, who has just one regular-season touch across seven career games, would be in line to serve as the No. 2 back.

Jack-of-all-trades Taysom Hill, who’s averaged 5.5 yards per carry and scored 23 touchdowns on his 317 career rush attempts, could get involved in the ground game as well.

Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks was removed from the injury report Friday, indicating that he’s ready to go.

The game marks the second time the Saints have faced the Titans/Houston Oilers franchise in a season opener. In 1993, the Saints secured a memorable 33-21 victory over the Oilers in a Sunday Night Football contest at the Superdome.

The Saints are aiming to extend their winning streak in home openers to five.

The Titans will enter their sixth season under the leadership of head coach Mike Vrabel. During his tenure, Vrabel has guided the team to four winning records, three playoff appearances, and two division titles. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, in his 12th NFL season and fifth with the Titans, leads the franchise in various passing categories, making him a cornerstone of their offense. Derrick Henry, a three-time Pro Bowl running back, continues to etch his name in Titans history with his rushing prowess.

On the other side, the Saints, led by head coach Dennis Allen, are coming off a 7-10 season in 2022 and are eager to make a statement. They boast a strong defense that ranked among the league’s top five in various categories last year. Additionally, the Saints made significant offseason moves capped by signing four-time Pro Bowler Derek Carr as their quarterback.

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