The Saints put cornerback Jabari Greer on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season after he tore the ACL in his left knee in Sunday’s 23-20 win against the San Francisco 49ers.
Greer was injured midway through the first quarter when he came down awkwardly on his left leg while trying to break up a deep pass for 49ers wide receiver Jon Baldwin.
Saints coach Sean Payton said Greer, a 10-year veteran, met with doctors on Monday and will have surgery soon. He’ll be replaced in the starting lineup by second-year pro Corey White, who had an interception and a fumble on the same play Sunday after Greer was hurt.
“It’s obviously a setback … tough for our team and tough for him,” Payton said of Greer after Tuesday’s practice. “He’s been playing very well.”
The Saints’ defense ranks third in the NFL against the pass this season in allowing just 191.4 yards per game.
The Saints signed cornerback Trevin Wade, a seventh-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2012, to take Greer’s roster spot. Wade played in 11 games last season, but was cut during training camp this summer.
BREES-BROOKS CONTROVERSY: Former NFL linebackers Tedy Bruschi and Ray Lewis were among the players who came to the aid of 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks after he was called for a personal foul penalty against Drew Brees on Sunday.
As the Saints tried to get into position for a game-tying field goal with just more than three minutes left, Brooks barged into the backfield and struck Brees in the neck with a forearm. Brees fumbled and the 49ers recovered, but the Saints retained possession when referee Tony Corrente flagged Brooks.
Lewis, a former All-Pro who now works for ESPN, said he’ll pay part of Brooks’ fine if he’s disciplined by the NFL for a hit to the neck and head area of a defenseless player. Bruschi, who is also an ESPN analyst, urged Brees to “get tough.”
Brees, who described the hit as a clothes-line tackle, got off the turf with a bloodied lip. Brooks claimed Brees “ducked his shoulder” at the last second as he was trying to knock the ball out of his hand.
“I don’t think what Ahmad Brooks did was intentional at all,” Brees said. “I think he’s a heck of a football player and a clean football player. … A hard-nosed, clean football player.
“You can slow (the replay) down all you want and watch it and say, ‘Look where the arm is,’” he added. “But I can tell you how I felt when I got hit. It felt like I got my head ripped off. I get up and I’ve got a mouth full of blood. There was no doubt in my mind it was going to be a penalty, but it is hard.”
PRACTICE REPORT: After being sidelined for practice and the game against the 49ers with concussions, Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro and tight end Benjamin Watson returned to work Tuesday.
Even though both were limited, it was more than they did all last week.
The only Saints who didn’t practice were G Jahri Evans (ankle) and RB Darren Sproles (knee/ankle).
DE Cameron Jordan (ankle), LB Curtis Lofton (hamstring/ankle), TE Jimmy Graham (elbow/foot), G Ben Grubbs (neck), DE Akiem Hicks (back), CB Chris Carr (hip/back/hamstring), DE Tyrunn Walker (knee) and CB Rod Sweeting (hip) were limited along with Vaccaro and Watson.
BUTLER PRACTICES: Saints outside linebacker Victor Butler, who is on the physically-unable-to-perform list after having surgery on a torn ACL in June, returned to practice Tuesday.
According to NFL rules, Tuesday was the last day Butler could return to practice and be activated this season. The Saints have 21 days in which to put him on the active roster or injured reserve — or release him.
“We’ll kind of see each week, practice by practice, how he’s doing,” Payton said. “It was good to see him out there.”
GONZALEZ SITS OUT: For the Falcons, TE Tony Gonzalez (toe) and DE Malliciah Goodman (calf) did not practice Tuesday.
Among the players who had limited participation were DT Jonathan Babineaux (triceps), DT Peria Jerry (shoulder), RB Jacquizz Rodgers (ankle), T Jeremy Trueblood (knee/hip) and LB Paul Worrilow (shoulder).
SAINTS FEATURED: The Saints-49ers game will be featured on NBCSN’s weekly NFL Turning Point show at 11 p.m. Wednesday.
The show will examine how the Saints’ defense stopped the 49ers on third down and limited the Niners’ potent running game to just 81 yards and an average of 3.7 yards per attempt — as well as Brooks’ crucial penalty.