At this point in the NFL season, every team is dealing with a variety of injuries. The New Orleans Saints are no exception. Heading into the playoffs, they are missing several key contributors on defense. Defensive linemen Marcus Davenport and Sheldon Rankins have already been placed on injured reserve, and the secondary is just beginning to take its blows. Cornerback Eli Apple left week 16’s contest against the Tennessee Titans with an ankle injury, and safety Marcus Williams left with a groin injury.
The Saints have signed defensive back DeShawn Shead to shore up the back end, according to Ian Rapaport of the NFL.
With a banged up secondary, the #Saints are signing versatile DB DeShawn Shead today, source said. Some reinforcements.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 24, 2019
Shead last played for the Detroit Lions during the 2018 season. Before that, he had spent his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks. One of the primary reasons the Saints signed Shead is his versatility. He has played just about every position in the secondary, which always helps a team dealing with injuries.
If the Saints are lucky, Shead will never touch the field. If both Williams and Apple can make their way back to the lineup ahead of a crucial week 17 game, New Orleans will be in good shape. Safety Vonn Bell is also questionable for week 17, another area of concern.
The week 17 matchup with the Carolina Panthers may not seem that important, but it has major playoff implications. If the Saints win and the Green Bay Packers lose, New Orleans secures home-field advantage and a first-round bye.
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