So that’s disquieting. With Michael Thomas recovering from ankle surgery and Deonte Harris likely to open the regular season with a two-week suspension, the New Orleans Saints are expected to trot out some combination of Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, and another receiver or two for Week 1. But Smith still hasn’t returned to practice after exiting Tuesday’s session with what NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill described as an apparent leg injury, while Harris also missed Wednesday’s practice.
While Sean Payton has been typically tight-lipped on injury updates, he did acknowledge on Wednesday that neither Smith nor Harris were expected to be out for long. Harris suited up for work on Thursday, but Smith was still out of action. While this does create an opportunity for other receivers to work with the top quarterbacks, you’d want to see the projected starters all working together. Tuesday was the team’s first day practicing in pads, and the competition is heating up as they approach their first preseason game on Aug. 23.
So here’s hoping Smith heals up soon and is back on the practice field. In his absence, the only other healthy receivers who were on last year’s squad include Callaway, Harris (who, again, could be unavailable in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers), Lil’Jordan Humphrey, running back-convert Ty Montgomery, and practice squad holdovers Tommylee Lewis and Jake Lampman. Offseason acquisitions Chris Hogan and Jalen McCleskey have impressed on the second string offense, while rookies Kawaan Baker and Easop Winston are also in the mix.