NEW ORLEANS — Because it was the exhibition finale, the Saints and Tennessee Titans didn’t want to take a chance on getting some of their regulars injured in Thursday night’s game in the Superdome.
The Saints opened the contest with only one regular offensive starter in the lineup — left guard Carl Nicks — and seven of their usual defensive starters.
Third-string quarterback Sean Canfield got the start because Drew Brees was held out and backup Chase Daniel did not practice this week after he appeared to injure his right hand in Sunday night’s win over the Oakland Raiders.
The defensive lineup included left end Turk McBride, who is thought to be the heir-apparent to Alex Brown. The Saints terminated the contract of Brown, a 10-year veteran, on Tuesday.
The Titans had 10 of their offensive starters on the field for the first snap, with the exception being running back Chris Johnson, who agreed to a six-year, $56 million contract earlier Thursday. The Titans had only five regulars start the game on defense.
STRANGE LOOK: The Saints also had an unusual look in the secondary as they started the game with four cornerbacks and no safeties.
Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson lined up at the corners, while Tracy Porter started at strong safety with Leigh Torrence at free safety.
On the Titans’ second offensive series, starting strong safety Roman Harper came on and the Saints moved Porter to his regular spot at right corner.
ROSTER MOVE: The Saints put veteran cornerback Fabian Washington on injured reserve Thursday, ending his season almost before it started.
Washington, who formerly played for Oakland and Baltimore, signed a one-year contract with the Saints in late July as an unrestricted free agent.
Washington, however, suffered a hamstring injury early in training camp and did not play in their first three exhibition games.