The 8-8 New Orleans Saints face a postseason elimination game when they travel to play the 7-9 Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. New Orleans needs a win, plus a Rams victory over San Francisco, to get into the playoffs.
Injuries have been a major issue for New Orleans all season. Just four days before their most crucial game of the year against their biggest rival, here is the Saints injury report for Thursday.
DID NOT PRACTICE
Terron Armstead, LT (knee)
Marcus Davenport, DE (ankle)
Mark Ingram, RB (knee)
Bradley Roby (shoulder)
P.J. Williams, S (ankle)
Ty Montgomery, WR/RB (back)
Ryan Ramczyk, RT (knee)
Tre'Quan Smith, WR (chest)
Taysom Hill (finger)
The biggest names to watch are Armstead, Ramczyk, and Davenport. Ramczyk has missed the last seven games while Armstead has been sidelined for six of the last eight contests. Without their elite tackles, an already shorthanded Saints offense has been completely stagnant.
Ingram was downgraded by a knee injury that's hampered him for over a month. It's sidelined him for two games and limited his effectiveness in others. Smith and Montgomery are key depth pieces for an offense that’s struggled to make plays.
Davenport has appeared on the injury report regularly while dealing with a shoulder injury. While limited in practice reps, he's been able to suit up and has been a disruptive force. He'll be needed, along with Pro Bowl DE Cam Jordan, to bring pressure on Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
Roby and Williams could be crucial against an Atlanta offense that relies on their passing attack. Ryan threw for 343 yards when these teams met back in November, a 27-25 Falcons victory. New Orleans has a deep secondary, but Jordan and Davenport are one of the NFL's best tandem of edge rushers.
The biggest name on the Falcons injury report is rookie TE Kyle Pitts, the team's leading receiver with 66 receptions for 1,018 yards. Pitts missed practice on Wednesday because of a hamstring injury. He returned on Thursday as a limited participant.