Injuries force Saints to shuffle lineup

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 28, 2011

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints watches the game against the Indianapolis Colts from the sidelines during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
For much of the past five seasons, Saints coach Sean Payton could always rely on the consistency and health of his offensive line. But as New Orleans gets ready for its game at Jacksonville on Sunday, Payton's offensive line likely will welcome two new starters, thanks to a run on injuries in the Saints' win against the Texans on Sept. 25. Center Olin Kreutz (left knee) and right tackle Zach Strief (right leg) did not practice Wednesday, meaning Brian de la Puente and second-year player Charles Brown were getting work at positions with the first team. Payton, who used the word spoiled when talking about the consistency of his line, said the lack of game experience for both of them is made up for because both have been with the team for more than just this season. ''They've gotten a lot of snaps through our training camp and really through the period of our program,'' he said. With the six players sitting out Wednesday's practice with various injuries, including three linebackers, the Saints set about shifting their roster to add depth in the short team. New Orleans cut defensive tackle Mitch King and placed kicker Garrett Hartley (right hip) on injured reserve and added offensive tackle Pat McQuistan, who started eight games with Miami in 2010, and linebacker Ramon Humber, who was in training camp with the Saints this summer. The decision to place Hartley on IR came because roster space was limited and John Kasay is kicking well, hitting on all six attempts this season, Payton said. Meanwhile, receiver Marques Colston was back at practice for the first time since breaking his collarbone Sept. 8. Payton said Colston will play at Jacksonville after missing two games. Still, it's along the offensive line where the new faces could be most noticeable. Since 2006, when Payton arrived in New Orleans, the Saints have given up only 104 sacks, second-fewest in the NFL. Kreutz took over this season for Jonathan Goodwin, who signed with San Francisco, and has started 137 straight games, 134 in his time with Chicago. De la Puente, who would start in place of Kreutz if the veteran can't go, has taken most of practice snaps at guard. ''He did a great job of preparing himself even though he didn't get a lot of reps during the week and that was big,'' Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. Right guard Jahri Evans will play with new neighbors on each side. For Brown, that's a good thing - Evans has started every game since 2006. ''He definitely saved me about two plays out there and pointed a lot of things out for me before the plays,'' Brown said. Strief, whom Brown lost a battle with for the starting position in preseason, could eventually return, said Payton, who mentioned that if the knee injury had been serious, the team would have placed him on IR. ''It's big,'' said Brown, the Saints' second-round pick in 2010. ''I've got a lot of responsibility. Great team I'm playing for. I've just got to step in and make sure I don't make any mistakes.'' Notes: Cornerback Tracy Porter (right calf) was full in practice for the first time since Sept. 14. Defensive tackle Tom Johnson (left calf) was full for the second practice in a row after missing six weeks with his injury.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The first time John Randle talked trash in the NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vikings announce Teddy Bridgewater has a torn ACL

Craig Sager to undergo third bone marrow transplant

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg expected to return next week

WATCH: Footage surfaces from Tim Tebow’s baseball workout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Teddy Bridgewater suffers serious knee injury at practice?

EON Sports strikes VR partnerships with Miami, PSU

Mike Tyson accused of stealing ice cream treat at U.S. Open

Calvin Johnson to join DWTS, but sister says he ‘can’t dance’

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

Teddy Bridgewater injury puts Vikings' plans up in the air

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

Vontaze Burfict on Steelers: ‘I don’t give no f—s about them’

Alistair Overeem: Brock Lesnar will never return to UFC

Top five Heisman Trophy candidates for 2016

Five young NFL players set to explode in 2016

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker