The New Orleans Saints had a week off to help get injured players right, but it sounds as if they're bracing to be without two of their stars as they head to Atlanta in Week 12.
Saints head coach Dennis Allen wouldn't specify whether WR Mike Thomas (knee) or CB Marshon Lattimore (ankle) would be candidates to land on IR and miss at least four weeks, but that both recoveries were expected to "take some time."
The good news? "Other than that, I think we're in a good spot," Allen continued.
Both Thomas and Lattimore left during a loss to the Vikings in Week 10. The Saints have made moves to help shore up the WR position in the meantime, re-signing veteran Keith Kirkwood to the active roster, and bringing back Marquez Callaway, who spent time with the Broncos earlier this season.
At defensive back, the decision would come down to either Ike Yiadom or Alontae Taylor to take outside duties. Yiadom filled in well for Paulson Adebo earlier this season, though Taylor took outside corner reps in base packages. The Saints could opt to have Taylor shift fully to outside with another player taking over in the slot. Options could include Ugo Amadi, Jordan Howden or others.
“There’ll be somebody playing out there," Allen said, without giving anything away. "We’ll have a plan for guys to go in there and play. I think we’ve got some good options in the secondary, guys that can play corner, nickel, those types of things.”
The other major injury from Week 10 came to quarterback Derek Carr, who left in the third quarter after a big hit and did not return. Carr was still in the concussion protocol as of Monday, but indications were positive in terms of a potential return in Week 12.
"The protocol is the protocol," Allen said, indicating that his QB would have to pass certain steps, including a return to practice, before being cleared for a return.
The Saints first official practice of the week will be held on Wednesday ahead of what will be a pivotal NFC South showdown with the Falcons. A win would help cement the Saints' hold on the division lead, while a loss would drop them back to the pack and behind the Falcons at 5-6.