[UPDATE 2:35 PM] — The Saints official injury report has been released. They have ruled out three players — linebacker Kiko Alonso, starting safety Vonn Bell, and starting right guard Larry Warford — and listed safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (Bell’s backup), starting left guard Andrus Peat, and cornerback Patrick Robinson as questionable.
#Saints injury report:— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) December 20, 2019
OUT: Kiko Alonso (quad), Larry Warford (knee) and Vonn Bell (knee).
QUESTIONABLE: Andrus Peat (forearm), Patrick Robinson (calf) and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (concussion).
Titans starting slot receiver Adam Humphries will miss his third straight game with an ankle injury that popped up at some point during the Titans Week 13 win over the Colts in Indianapolis. Being ruled out on a Friday isn’t usually a good sign for a player’s availability the next week, but the fact that the team hasn’t moved him to IR would suggest that they believe there is a chance Humphries will be ready to play for Week 17 or early in the playoffs if the Titans qualify.
Tajae Sharpe and Kalif Raymond will take on bigger roles with Humphries out. Both have been solid contributors in the receiver rotation this year. Tight end Anthony Firkser is also likely to continue to pick up some of the slack on third downs, where Humphries has really shined this year.
Adoree’ Jackson was also ruled out for a third straight contest with a foot injury despite getting back on the practice field earlier this week. The Titans will roll with a cornerback group featuring LeShaun Sims and Tramaine Brock in addition to Logan Ryan. Being without Jackson and Malcolm Butler has been really tough for the Titans secondary in recent weeks and now they’ll have to take on Drew Brees and the Saints without two of their top three corners. Hopefully Jackson’s increased activity this week is a good sign for his availability against the Texans.
The other player added to the injury report today is rookie defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons who sat out with a knee injury today. Mike Vrabel told the media that this was just a rest day for the first round pick, but the questionable designation seems to suggest otherwise. The Titans have solid depth on the defensive line, but Simmons is a special talent and they would miss him considerably if he can’t go.
In better news, Derrick Henry (hamstring) returned to practice today after sitting out of Thursday’s session. Henry does not carry an injury designation this week — he was listed as questionable last week before suiting up — so he will be a go for Sunday, but we will see how much of his burst he has available in that hamstring. He was pretty limited the last two weeks despite pretty strong production.
Corey Davis, Kalif Raymond, Wesley Woodyard, and Dion Lewis are all cleared to play after missing some reps earlier in the week and Daren Bates will make his return after missing some games with a shoulder injury.
Being without significant starters in Jackson and Humphries against a good football team will be tough. If Simmons can’t go, things get even tougher. However, this has been a resilient football team all year.
The Saints official injury designations have not yet come out, but it appears likely that they will be without starting safety Vonn Bell and starting right guard Larry Warford, who have not practiced all week. Bell’s backup, rookie C.J. Gardner-Johnson, was limited in practice again today as he tries to make his return through the concussion protocol.
New Orleans is a little beat up along the offensive line. In addition to being without Warford at right guard, they’ve had both starting tackles — Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk — and starting left guard Andrus Peat limited in practice all week, leaving just rookie center Erik McCoy as the lone “fully healthy” offensive lineman in the starting five.