Category Archives: Uncategorized

Brodrick Bunkley tore quad vs. Baltimore, is likely out for rest of season, NFL Network reports

New Orleans Saints nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley (77) is tended to after being injured in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

New Orleans Saints nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley (77) is tended to after being injured in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

It is believed Saints nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley tore his quadriceps in his team’s 34-27 loss at home against Baltimore, and his season is most probably over, the NFL Network is reporting.

Bunkley hurt his leg on a second-and-7 for the Ravens at midfield trying to stop a rush by running back Justin Forsett, who finished with 22 carries for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns. He walked off the field with the help of trainers and didn’t return.

The NFL’s Ian Rapoport then tweeted about Bunkley’s injury at approximately 8 a.m. Tuesday. He did not name a source. The Saints haven’t commented on Rapoport’s report on Bunkley, which is standard for the team whenever an injury to a player is involved.

If Bunkley is indeed ruled out for the remainder of the campaign for the Saints (4-7), he’d be the third New Orleans defender to suffer a season-ending injury in as many weeks. A team that is ranked 27th on defense and surrendered a staggering 1,184 yards as well as 88 points in three consecutive setbacks at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in November can ill afford more major injuries to its personnel.

Rookie backup safety Vinnie Sunseri broke his left forearm attempting to make a special-teams tackle in a 27-24 loss at home against San Francisco on Nov. 9. Safety Rafael Bush, a fourth-year pro, fractured his right fibula in a 27-10 defeat at home against Cincinnati a week later.

A fourth defender, three-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, has been out of action since sustaining a meniscus tear in one of his knees prior to an Oct. 5 victory at home against Tampa Bay.

At nose tackle, in addition to Bunkley, the Saints have 2013 third-round draft selection John Jenkins and Brandon Deaderick, who’s in his first year with New Orleans. Jenkins saw significant action at nose tackle in five regular-season games that Bunkley missed with a calf injury at the beginning of last year.

Bunkley has 17 tackles (eight solo) while starting each of the Saints’ 11 games this year. He joined New Orleans in 2012 and is in his ninth NFL season.

Welcome to the Superdome

superdome

Welcome to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where the Saints will host the Baltimore Ravens.

This is a big game for the Saints. The NFC South is what it is, but New Orleans cannot afford to drop a third-consecutive game at home. In terms of the overall health of the season, and getting on a role heading into the final leg of the season, the Saints need to win this one before going on the road to Pittsburgh.

Projecting the inactives: The Saints have already ruled out running back Khiry Robinson (forearm) and linebacker Kyle Knox (hand). Our guess on the other five players who will sit are cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste, wide receiver Robert Meachem, offensive lineman Senio Kelemete, offensive lineman Nick Becton, and wide receiver Jalen Saunders. Don’t feel good about the Saunders pick.

Guessing the lineup: After spending all week guessing at who the starting free safety will be tonight, I’m settling on Pierre Warren. He knows the system and is a more natural fit at that position than Marcus Ball. Also, don’t be surprised if Patrick Robinson sees an increased role. The coaching staff talked him up this week.

Officials: Bill Leavy’s crew will be on the field tonight. His crew averages 13.44 penalties per game, which is about on par with the league average.

 Gameday mag: Ben Grubbs graces the cover of this week’s program.

Ravens bus involved in traffic accident with no injuries in New Orleans area

A bus carrying members of the Ravens organization was in a traffic accident in the New Orleans area on Sunday, a day before the Baltimore team is supposed to play the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Ravens spokesman Chad Steele described the accident as a “small fender bender” in an email.

“Bus was not damaged, and we are pulling into the hotel now,” Steele wrote to The Advocate early Sunday evening.

Another Ravens spokesman, Patrick Gleason, said in a separate email that a team bus was rear-ended by a car at a slow speed. Neither anyone on the bus or the driver of the car that hit the bus were injured, Gleason said.

Many learned about the crash when former Ravens receiver Qadry Ismail — an analyst on the team’s radio broadcast crew — published a message on Twitter reading, “We got an accident! Bus #4 got side swiped by a car! #Ravens #NOLA.”

Ismail — who coincidentally played for the Saints in 1998 — later tweeted, “All okay! Not even a delay.”

Steele did not immediately respond to a message asking for a description of the location where the accident had occurred. Calls to various local law enforcement agencies did not immediately yield any more information, including whether anyone had been cited in the incident.

The Ravens are 6-4 heading into their match-up with the Saints (4-6).

Sunday marked the second time a crash involving an NFL team’s bus occurred. On Nov. 2, a pair of buses carrying members of Washington’s ball club collided en route to a game in Minnesota. There were no injuries in that incident either.

Note: This post was edited after it was first published to add more details, including a statement by Ravens spokesman Patrick Gleason.

Khiry Robinson, Kyle Knox out for Saints’ game against Ravens on Monday night

Saints running back Khiry Robinson will miss his fifth straight game because of a hurt forearm when the Ravens visit the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday night.

New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) runs against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) runs against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The 4-6 Saints on Saturday ruled out Robinson and reserve linebacker Kyle Knox (hand) with their injuries after they missed practices Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This will be the eighth game for which Knox is absent.

Wide receiver Robert Meachem — who’s missed the past three games with a hurt ankle — is questionable after being limited all week.

Among those who are probable are running back Pierre Thomas (rib/shoulder), who has been out the past four games but was a limited participant in team drills all week. Other probables are running back Travaris Cadet (hamstring), linebacker Curtis Lofton (ankle), cornerback Keenan Lewis (knee), tackle Zach Strief (chest) and running back Mark Ingram (shoulder).

Lewis, Lofton and Cadet missed Thursday but were limited participants in team drills Friday and Saturday. Strief and Ingram fully practiced all week despite being listed on the injury report.

Baltimore ruled out wide receiver Michael Campanaro (thigh) and guard Jah Reid (hand). Probable despite being listed on the injury report are Ravens tight end Owen Daniels (not injury related), linebacker Daryl Smith (not injury related), fullback Kyle Jusczyk (foot), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (not injury related), linebacker Terrell Suggs (not injury related) and guard Marshal Yanda (knee).

The Ravens will arrive in New Orleans with a 6-4 record.

Jonathan Goodwin has no plans to leave the side of agent Ben Dogra, fired by CAA

New Orleans Saints center Jonathan Goodwin (55) gets set against the Detroit Lions during the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson) ORG XMIT: OTK128

New Orleans Saints center Jonathan Goodwin (55) gets set against the Detroit Lions during the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson) ORG XMIT: OTK128

Like the vast majority of the public, Saints center Jonathan Goodwin isn’t sure why the talent and sports agency CAA recently fired his agent, Rakshpal Ben “Ben” Dogra.

All the 13-year NFL veteran knew Friday was he had no plans to leave his professional relationship with Dogra.

“I haven’t reached out to him because I’m sure right now it’s a hectic time,” said Goodwin, who has spent six total seasons with the Saints. “But … up until this point, he’s been good to me, so I don’t see a reason right now to turn my back on him.”

Considered by Forbes to have been the seventh-most powerful agent in 2013 with almost $950 million in contracts and some $28 million in commissions, Dogra was terminated by CAA for causes that weren’t immediately specified, according to various stories published on Nov. 13. Names on the St. Louis-based superagent’s client list include A.J. Green, Robert Griffin III, Jeremy Maclin, the embattled Adrian Peterson, Richard Sherman, Mario Williams, Patrick Willis and Goodwin.

ESPN has reported that Dogra’s clients could opt to keep working with him, stay with CAA or begin the process of finding new representation. Goodwin on Friday said his intention was to stay with Dogra in part because he wasn’t too acquainted with anyone else at CAA.

“Right now, there’s no pressing need to worry about anything,” said Goodwin, who’s on a one-year playing deal with the Saints worth up to $1.02 million. “I’m sure in the offseason or later in the year, once things calm down, I’m going to try to reach out to him.”

Goodwin was in his fifth year in the NFL when he first joined the Saints in 2006. He was a starter on the Saints team that won Super Bowl XLIV and remained in New Orleans through 2010 but then went to San Francisco in 2011 for three seasons.

He appeared in three NFC title games as well as a Super Bowl with the 49ers before returning to the Saints in June as a free agent.

Goodwin this year has started eight games for the Saints (4-6). Injuries sidelined him for two games in late October and knocked him out of three other earlier contests.

The Saints and Goodwin host Baltimore (6-4) on Monday night.

Sean Payton on if he has a retirement card ready for Steve Smith: ‘It’s ready. Flowers, the whole nine’

Steve Smith has been a thorn in Sean Payton’s size for a number of years.

Formerly a member of the Carolina Panthers and now  a Baltimore Raven, the wide receiver has enjoyed considerable success against the Saints over the years, logging 99 catches, 1,493 yards and 10 touchdowns against New Orleans over 23 games.

Due to that success, one might think Payton harbors a certain level of disdain for Smith.

It’s actually the opposite.

“The good news was he left our division,” Payton said. “The bad news was we are playing him this year. I love watching him play, (and) his passion. He’s tough. There is an energy that he brings with him that is very evident just on watching the tape.  When you see him in person you feel that.”

The Saints held Smith to seven catches, 93 yards, and one touchdown in two meetings last season. It was the second of those meetings, however, when Smith caught one pass, that was the more impressive outing.

Still, Payton will not be upset when Smith decides to hang it up.

“It’s ready,” Payton said when asked if he has a retirement card ready for Smith. “Flowers, the whole nine.”

 

Ravens CB Lardarius Webb on Jimmy Graham: ‘He’s a beast. He’s a big old mismatch, like a Calvin Johnson’

It’s starting to feel like Jimmy Graham is one of the most talked-about players in the NFL.

Last week, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz said the Saints tight end wouldn’t see the field in Philadelphia due to his blocking ability. Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb has a different take on Graham’s abilities.

He feels Graham is one of the biggest mismatches in the NFL and compared him to an unstoppable force playing another sport.

“He’s like LeBron James playing tight end,” Webb said, according to the Baltimore Sun. “He’s a beast. He’s a big old mismatch, like a Calvin Johnson. We have to know where he is at all times and not let him break out.”

Graham caught three passes for 29 yards during last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens are hoping to take a similar approach and spotted something on film that might help Baltimore accomplish that task.

“They pressed him at the line. And they mixed up their zone and man, which you have to do against him,” Webb said. “They got a lot of pressure. They kept (quarterback Drew) Brees off-balance. They hit the quarterback.”