Saints Countdown to NFL Kickoff 2021: #45-43 Collins, Karney, Sproles

Saints News Network's Countdown to Kickoff: less than 45 Days until the New Orleans Saints Week 1 Matchup vs the Green Bay Packers on September 12th, 2021.
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The New Orleans Saints are less than 45 days away from their Week 1 clash with the Pack. Here is a look at three Saints that have sported the numbers 45, 44, and 43: 

New Orleans Saints FB #45 Jed Collins (2011-2013)

Jed Collins was a record-setting Tight End at Washington State before going un-drafted in 2008. Throughout the first three years of his NFL career, Collins bounced around being in camp or on a practice squad for seven different NFL franchises. After spending the entire 2010 season on the Saints practice squad, Collins became the Saints starting FB in 2011. 

In his first year as a starter, he earned PFF All-Pro Honors. Collins ended his NFL career in 2015 and now serves as a financial advisor. During his four years in New Orleans, he started 26 games and scored 7 TDs. 

New Orleans Saints FB #44 Mike Karney (2004-2008)

The New Orleans Saints drafted Mike Karney, an All Pac-12 selection in 2001,  in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft. The Saints traded two draft choices to select the Arizona State product, and it looked to pay off for both parties. Karney was an immediate impact in NOLA working his way to two Pro-Bowls (2006 and 2007). 

During the Saints run to the NFC championship game in 2006, Karney pieced together his best NFL games, scoring three TDs against the Dallas Cowboys. Those were the first three TDs of his career. The 2006 All-Pro selection spent five years in New Orleans, starting 46 games and scoring 7 TDs.

New Orleans Saints RB #43 Darren Sproles (2011-2013)

Darren Sproles joined the Saints in 2011 after spending his first six NFL seasons with the San Diego Chargers. His first season with the Saints was a special one. Led by Drew Brees' single-season passing record, the Saints set records across the board in 2011. Along with catching the record-breaking pass from Brees, Sproles set an NFL record for himself passing Derrick Mason for the most all-purpose yards in a single season. 

Sproles' stint with the Saints ended following the 2013 season when he was traded to the Eagles for a fifth-round draft choice. The 3x Pro-Bowl selection (all with Eagles), finished his Saints career appearing in 44 games, collecting over 5,500 all-purpose yards and scoring 22 TDs.

Follow Saints News Network’s Writer, Brendan Boylan, on Twitter & Instagram at @btboylan.

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