When the New Orleans Saints injury report was first released and read by the majority of Who Dats yesterday, it’s more than safe to say that an immediate sense of “doom and gloom” fell upon the team’s passionately-loyal fan-base as they thought of a possible 3rd straight loss for the team; and an even worse start to what has has been a rather disappointing beginning to their 2020 Regular Season.
That’s because a total of 6 — count them: SIX — of the team’s most important starting players have been ruled OUT of tomorrow’s now-suddenly crucial match-up on the road at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan against their long-time conference rivals the Detroit Lions.
Six Saints are OUT this week
Jared Cook https://t.co/AI6sW2hH18
— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) October 2, 2020
However it could actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise, since having to face such adversity and nearly-impossible odds in order to somehow win the contest, should show what type of team the Black and Gold REALLY are moving forward.
After back-to-back disappointing overall performances by New Orleans that has left them with a (1-2) win-loss record three games into what most believed would be a potential championship-winning season this year, yesterday’s news left many wondering how the Saints will be able to find some kind of way to overcome the difficulty of having to beat the Lions with what most expect will be a huge disadvantage for Sean Payton‘s struggling squad.
The Saints will kick off tomorrow’s game without the services of both of their top two starting cornerbacks in Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins; as well as their All-Pro and #1 wide receiver Michael Thomas, who had practiced all week in a limited role.
In addition to those three, 3rd year (and injury-prone) defensive end Marcus Davenport (elbow / toe), tight end Jared Cook (groin) and starting left offensive guard Andrus Peat (ankle) will also not play tomorrow, either.
As the old saying goes: “when it rains, it pours”.
So why then, should Saints fans have any reason whatsoever to still be optimistic and have something still to look forward to when the Black and Gold takes the field against the (1-2) Lions?
That’s an easy answer to be honest, because exactly just how they respond tomorrow with their “backs against the wall” so to speak, will reveal plenty as to what level of resolve, determination, and competitive fire that each one of the players and members of the team’s staff and entire organization truly have in such undesirable and uncertain circumstances.
Believe this much: when your favorite team has PJ Williams and Patrick Robinson as its two starting cornerbacks in a game, it definitely qualifies as an undesirable and uncertain circumstance.
Aaron Glenn on PJ Williams and Patrick Robinson starting at CB: “I will say this, those guys have to be comfortable in who they are and their techniques and what makes them successful. It’s my job to make sure they’re put in position to be successful.”
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) October 2, 2020
Janoris Jenkins and Lattimore out!?!?! Kenny G and Marvin Jones both bout to have career games. https://t.co/7XEgKqu4d2
— Detroit Vs Everybody (@vs_everybody) October 2, 2020
But if the Saints are anywhere close to being the Super Bowl-contending team that most football fans and expert NFL analysts alike thought that they were going to be (and could still possibly be with an entire 13 games still left to play in the Regular Season), then we have to believe that they will come together as one tomorrow and play as well as they can for an entire 60 minutes, and leave every single bit of collective effort out on the field of play.
Clearly the Saints have been disappointing thus far in many aspects and both sides of the football still have issues that will need to be addressed much further (and hopefully corrected) in the upcoming weeks ahead.
But they are still a roster that’s filled with many talented individuals — and with two consummate professionals such as Payton and future Hall-of-Fame QB Drew Brees still proverbially running the show — there’s no way this team and organization is going to simply quit or stop trying to win because they’re missing a few (although vitally important) key players to their overall success.
That’s certainly indicative of their typical “next man up” attitude throughout the past decade and a half, but for the Saints in this particular instance tomorrow, this is much more than than just that.
This time around, it just FEELS different than at any other time throughout the entire 15-year tenure of the ‘Sean Payton-Drew Brees Era’ (since their first season together in 2006).
Every NFL / Pro Football fan is more than well aware that “time is running out” for the Saints to win another Super Bowl before Brees retires (perhaps even after this current season is over), after they’ve come so agonizingly close to doing so over the course of the past few recent seasons.
And it’s for that reason specifically why just each and every single member of the franchise should be laser-focused and motivated to prove to everyone watching tomorrow, that they still are a formidable team that will need to be reckoned with by the rest of the League in the upcoming weeks and months ahead.
If the New Orleans Saints are truly the team that many folks out there still firmly believe that they REALLY are, then they’ll find a way somehow to make it happen.
As it is at this point: they honestly don’t have too many other options available — but “doom and gloom” won’t be one of them….
Barry Hirstius is a semi-retired journalist, who has worked previously as a sports editor and columnist. Barry is a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the Saints while attending their games as a young boy during the early 1970’s, uptown at the old Tulane Stadium. He is also the proud Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity. Follow him on Twitter: @BarryHirstius