The New Orleans Saints brought up three players from their practice squad prior to kickoff in Week 18 with the Atlanta Falcons, also losing a veteran backup to the COVID-19 reserve list. While they’re in much better shape than Saints fans have seen them in recent weeks, it’s still good to get reinforcements. Here’s what you need to know from Saturday’s update to the daily NFL transactions wire:
OL #65 Caleb Benenoch designated to COVID-19 reserve list
A veteran backup at left guard, Benenoch has only gotten into one game this season — starting at right tackle in Week 16’s sham of a game with the Miami Dolphins, when almost two dozen Saints players were out of action due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Now Benenoch is also missing time in league COVID protocols.
OL #64 Will Clapp elevated from the practice squad
Clapp started last week in place of Erik McCoy, but now he figures to be a backup for Calvin Throckmorton and Cesar Ruiz at guard. He’s also gotten some looks as the sixth man in uneven blocking fronts and could get into the game in that role.
DT #97 Malcolm Roach elevated from the practice squad
Roach played often early this season — seeing 184 of his 198 total snaps in Weeks 1 through 5 — before he took a backseat to David Onyemata once the starter returned from a six-game suspension. Then he missed time with an injury, was bumped down to the practice squad, and got sidelined on the COVID-19 reserve list. He’s only gotten into one game since the Saints’ Week 6 bye.
CB #35 KeiVarae Russell elevated from the practice squad
The Saints are without both Bradley Roby and P.J. Williams this week, so it makes sense to call up some more depth behind the starters. Russell played 26 snaps on special teams back in Week 11 but has otherwise been inactive on the practice squad. He’s got a chance to make an impact across from Ken Crawley behind Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson.