Sep 11, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux (40) is carted off the field after an injury in the second half against the Oakland Raiders at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Raiders won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
A “HEALTHY” SAINTS TEAM IN 2017
Perhaps no team in the NFL has been as afflicted with injury as badly as these 2016 Saints.
Before a meaningful snap was even taken, the team had lost edge rusher Hau’oli Kikaha and cornerback Damian Swann for the year, and rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins for half his season with injury.
By midway through their second game, cornerbacks PJ Williams (for the year) and Delvin Breaux seven games lost) had been added to that list, and later on promising safety Erik Harris as well.
Left tackle Terron Armstead and linebacker Stephone Anthony suffered injuries in the preseason that caused them to never really be at 100% of their abilities.
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has been the best player on the field at times for the New Orleans defense, but in 2 years as a Saint has been on the inactive list more than he has been on the field.
The improvement that this defense has made in spite of all that missing talent is close to remarkable. Saints fans should be excited to see what Dennis Allen’s defense would be able to accomplish with a full complement of talent in 2017.
Injuries aside, it was obvious when watching the defense this season that they are still a few key pieces away from being a top unit; which brings us to….