The Saints carry seven defensive linemen on their 53 man roster and last week the snaps went almost entirely to three players: Akiem Hicks, John Jenkins and Cam Jordan. That wasn't by design, mind you, because when Tom Johnson went down early in the first quarter, that made him the fourth injured lineman out of seven on the roster. Missing time along with Johnson are Brodrick Bunkley and Tyrunn Walker, both injured in the opener, and Glenn Foster who badly sprained his ankle in the preseason. So the Saints had three players left for three positions and frankly that was a major problem. As much as I like Hicks and Jenkins, both are not every down players. Not now, and maybe not ever. In Jenkins' case he's a rookie with a very high weight and playing a full four quarters when he's never played a 16 game season before is far less than ideal. Hicks at least has a tad more experience, but he spent last year as a reserve that played sparingly. That's a major change in his role and you'd prefer to bring a guy along more slowly. Those three will remain the starters against the Cardinals, but the good news is depth is coming back to spell them. I was pleasantly tipped to some news last night with the following tweet by Glenn Foster:
Imm baaack. NFL regular season debut #whodat
— Glenn Foster (@Qbsacked) September 21, 2013
After a monster preseason Glenn Foster will get a chance to play for the first time in his NFL career. He's been limited but practicing all week. In addition to that, Tyrunn Walker has also been limited and practicing all week, making it very likely he will play as well. This should give the Saints more of a rotation and more depth to keep guys fresh, which is key. I don't view Arizona as a team that runs the football a ton, either, so hopefully the players won't wear down in this one. Tom Johnson and Brodrick Bunkley are both listed as "questionable" for this game too, by the way, but they didn't practice all week and neither will play. Reports have come out on both that they are 4-6 weeks from a return, so I don't expect them back for the next few games. But at least the defensive front is starting to get healthier.