New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham returned to practice on a limited basis on Friday for the first time all week coming off the Saints Week 7 bye week. Graham has been dealing with an undisclosed foot injury. Graham is currently listed as questionable and is considered day-to-day. He will most likely be a game time decision if he even makes it that far this weekend.
Injury Outlook: The fact that Graham returned to practice, even on a limited basis, is probably a good sign. Without knowing the specific injury or extent of damage the injury caused, it’s very difficult to speculate Graham’s prognosis and/or his chances of playing this Sunday. Fact of the matter is Graham has dealt with injuries in his ankles in the past, so this seems to be a bit of a “problem” area for him, as any history of pathology in a certain area predisposes a player to have more ailments develop as time progresses. Not to say that Graham will deal with things like this forever, it’s just hard to say how this relates to his past history without knowing which structures are involved this time around.
Smart money, at this point in time, is on Graham not playing this week, for the simple fact that the Saints may not feel like they NEED Graham to beat the Bills. Obviously, when you take your biggest and baddest offensive player out of the lineup, it leaves some big shoes to fill. However, if he suffered any sort of sprain to his foot or a plantar fascia tear or ankle sprain, it’s better to take the time now than try to play through things and risk pulling a Roddy White. Forcing yourself to play through an injury that thrives on rest doesn’t do the healing process any favors and could lead to even more limitation down the line.
My expectation is that Graham won’t play this weekend, but just in case you don’t have another viable option, check for the inactive list prior to kick off and pick up Ben Watson if you need a capable fill-in.