Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas still not practicing on updated Saints injury report

Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas still not practicing on updated Saints injury report, via @DillySanders:

The New Orleans Saints have not seen much change with their injury report this week. Star quarterback Jameis Winston (back/ankle) and wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot) were still absent from Thursday’s practice, making chances look worse and worse that they will play on Sunday. But three other Saints players were upgraded from limited participation to a full day’s work: right tackle Ryan Ramczyk (rest), left guard Andrus Peat (concussion), and tight end Taysom Hill (rib).

As for the Seattle Seahawks: we’ll get their injury report once their practice wraps up on the West Coast later on Thursday afternoon.

Notre Dame football: defensive lineman leaves program

Didn’t expect to see this coming today…

Notre Dame is getting ready to hop on a plane tomorrow and head west to Las Vegas to take on BYU but they’ll be without [autotag]Jacob Lacey[/autotag] on that flight as the senior defensive lineman is leaving the program.

Lacey had been a big part of the rotation at defensive tackle for Notre Dame and came up huge against Cal just a few short weeks ago when he recorded a pair of sacks in the win.  In all, he made five tackles on the year, all of which came in that Cal game.

Lacey announced his decision to leave the Notre Dame football program on Twitter early Thursday afternoon in a statement you can read below.

Lacey played four seasons with the Irish, recording 35 total tackles and 2.5 sacks in that time.  Lacey was a four-star commitment to Notre Dame out of Bowling Green, Kentucky in the 2019 recruiting class.

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Angler catches a rare ‘24-carat’ golden crappie; ‘definitely a shock’

A woman fishing with family in a pond on her new property hooked into a bizarre-looking crappie that appears to be made of 24-carat gold.

A woman fishing with family in a pond on her new property in Missouri hooked into a bizarre-looking crappie that appears to be made of 24-carat gold.

Holly Hadden, who recently moved to Springfield, made the unusual catch Monday using a bobber and worm.

“I really didn’t know much about this pond. We were just fishing it to kind of see what was in it,” Haddan told The Kansas City Star.

“I was very surprised to pull this one in. It’s very vibrant. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It shines like gold when the sun hits it just right.”

Crappie are usually black or white, as seen in accompanying photos of white crappie and black crappie.

Black crappie
White crappie

This one’s unique color was explained by the Missouri Department of Conservation on its Facebook page. It said, “This occurrence is known as xanthochromism – a genetic condition that causes unusually yellow or orange pigmentation in animals, similar to how albinism causes a lack of pigment. These phenomena are not restricted to fish, but can occur in a variety of animals.”

Commenters on the MDC Facebook page had plenty to say about the unique crappie. Among the comments:

“Is this like the Golden Ticket in Willie Wonka?”

“I’d take that straight to the pawn shop!”

“24 carat? Really, is this a thing?”

“That’s probably worth some money!”

Even Haddan commented, saying, “It was definitely a shock to reel it in.”

Haddan put the golden crappie in a koi pond with plans to return it to the fishing pond.

Also on FTW Outdoors: Park ranger goes fishing in Yellowstone geyser, but not for fish

“I like to eat fish,” she told the Star, “but I also don’t see the need to kill something when there’s no need for it.”

Especially when it appears to be made of gold.

Photos of black crappie and white crappie courtesy of Wikipedia Commons; photo of the golden crappie courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas DNP on initial Saints Week 5 injury report vs. Seahawks

Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas DNP on initial Saints Week 5 injury report vs. Seahawks, via @DillySanders:

The hobbled New Orleans Saints have gotten off to a disappointing 1-3 start to the 2022 NFL season. The initial injury report for the Week 5 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks shows no participation for starting quarterback Jameis Winston (back/hip) and wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot), as well as backup left guard Calvin Throckmorton (ankle), defensive end Payton Turner (chest), and safety P.J. Williams (quadricep). Star running back Alvin Kamara (rib) was a limited participant on Wednesday.

For the Seahawks, we’ll have to wait until their injury report is released later Wednesday afternoon. For now, here’s what we learned from New Orleans:

Saints practice squad takes another hit, loses LB Eric Wilson to the Packers

Saints practice squad takes another hit, loses LB Eric Wilson to the Packers:

The hits keep coming. Veteran linebacker Eric Wilson left the New Orleans Saints practice squad for a better deal with the Green Bay Packers, where he’ll receive a pay raise and more opportunities to get on the field. The sixth-year veteran competed for a spot on New Orleans’ roster throughout training camp and initially joined backups Nephi Sewell and Chase Hansen on the practice squad; Hansen was later promoted to the 53-man roster along with Demario Davis, Pete Werner, Kaden Elliss, Andrew Dowell, and Zack Baun.

Wilson hadn’t appeared in a game yet this season, but this is another hit to the depth chart and the Saints may make a move to replace him. What’s worse is that he’s the second veteran to depart for greener pastures in as many days after the Denver Broncos poached running back Latavius Murray. With the Saints stumbling into a 1-3 record to open the season, experienced players aren’t going to wait around for their number to get called when they can go somewhere else, make more money, and face less competition for a roster spot.

New Orleans has some vacancies opening on the practice squad this week, so look for them to plug those holes soon. They could look to bring in some free agents for tryouts or shuffle players around with some injuries and suspensions ending soon.

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Bear pins man to ground in late-night attack in his backyard

A Colorado man investigating a noise in his backyard late Saturday night startled a bear, which knocked him over and held him down.

A Colorado man investigating a noise in his backyard late Saturday night startled a bear, which knocked him down and pinned him to the ground.

The victim used one arm to protect his face while grabbing his gun with the other and shooting three times, scaring the bear away, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Family members took the victim to the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries to his hand, arm and chest. He was released from the hospital early Sunday morning.

“In addition to injuries to his hand and arm, the victim also received bruising on his chest from the bear holding him down on the ground,” the CPW stated.

The man told CPW that he had seen a bear in his yard the previous two nights.

This was the second bear attack in New Castle this year. According to The Denver Post, the first attack happened in August and also took place in a backyard, where a sow and three cubs were in trees. A woman went outside to cover a hot tub and was attacked.

Also on FTW Outdoors: Hiker lets bear pass within petting distance on narrow trail (video)

“This is an unfortunate reminder that we need to be vigilant and ‘bear aware’ at all times,” Area Wildlife Manager Kirk Oldham said in response to Saturday’s attack. “We continue to see a lot of bear activity during the overnight hours as bears prepare for hibernation.

“Easy access to food sources, such as trash and fruit from trees that have fallen to the ground, will attract bears. Simple steps like picking up fruit and removing any attractants around your home are important in preventing incidents like this.”

The attack occurred around 10:30 p.m. CPW was notified about it by the staff of the local hospital. Wildlife officers arrived on the scene around 2 a.m. Sunday to search for the bear, but heavy rain made it difficult to locate a possible blood trail to track the bear.

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted using a drone with infrared sensors to search for the bear. The search continued throughout the day Sunday without success.

The victim was unsure whether any of his three shots actually hit the bear. But the CPW asks the New Castle community to contact Colorado State Patrol if an injured or dead bear is spotted.

Generic bear photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Broncos sign Latavius Murray off of the Saints practice squad

Broncos sign Latavius Murray off of the Saints practice squad, reopening a hole in New Orleans’ depth chart:

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Exit Javonte Williams, enter Latavius Murray. The Denver Broncos are signing Murray off of the New Orleans Saints practice squad just a day after Murray scored a touchdown run with the team in London against the Minnesota Vikings, ironically the same team he once played for when Broncos general manager George Paton worked in their front office.

It’s hard not to look at this as a mistake — Murray brought more life to the Saints running game than we’ve seen all season, and he graded out as the best player on offense for New Orleans in Week 4. He had 11 carries for 57 yards against his old team, catching his only target to gain another 8 yards.

But the decision is easy to understand from Murray’s perspective. Once Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II are fully healthy, he’ll be third at best on the depth chart. In Denver he shouldn’t need much time to assert himself with a backfield missing its leading rusher for the rest of the season. There will be greater opportunities for him to get on the field and make more money with the Broncos than with the Saints.

Still, it’s a tough break for New Orleans. They’ve been without Kamara for two of their first four games while he’s dealing with a rib injury and Ingram has struggled with ball security while running in Kamara’s place. Dwayne Washington has been limited to special teams and Tony Jones Jr. has been a healthy scratch on gamedays. Look for the Saints to scour the free agent market yet again searching for Murray’s replacement.

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DT Malcolm Roach among Saints players now eligible to return from injured reserve

DT Malcolm Roach among Saints players now eligible to return from injured reserve

Week 4 of the NFL regular season is nearly in the books, meaning a couple of New Orleans Saints players are now eligible to return from injured reserve — though we may not see them activated just yet. They still must pass a physical and successfully return to practice before they’ll be able to suit up for games. The NFL tweaked injured reserve rules again this offseason, making it so that now players must sit out at least four weeks before being allowed to return to the active roster (and only eight players may return during the season).

But one player who is optimistic for a quick return is defensive tackle Malcolm Roach, who exited the team’s final preseason game with an apparent lower leg injury. Roach went on the reserve list at the same time as rookie left tackle Trevor Penning, who is out until November with turf toe, but his injury has been said to be less serious and he may return soon. If so, the soonest Roach could get back on the field would be Week 5’s home game with the Seattle Seahawks.

They could use him. The Saints have called up Christian Ringo from the practice squad for two games early this season, otherwise using a three-man rotation featuring David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, and Kentavius Street. Rookie draft pick Jordan Jackson is also on the practice squad with Ringo. The run defense has been mercurial to start the year — the Falcons and Panthers ran for 201 and 145 rushing yards, respectively, while the Buccaneers and Vikings were held to 72 and 81 rushing yards. Roach’s return could solidify the interior and maybe help generate more pressure up the middle (Tuttle, Onyemata, and Street have totaled 11 combined sacks, hits, and hurries so far).

But it’s no guarantee that Roach will return just yet. We don’t know exactly how severe his injury was or what his recovery timeline looks like. Hopefully he’ll be back soon. Penning’s activation is still at least a month away. Another rookie draft pick, cornerback Alontae Taylor, may not be ready to return until Week 8 at the soonest, if at all. It still hasn’t been confirmed whether or not the knee injury he suffered in practice was a season-ending issue, so stay tuned.

And he isn’t out with an injury, but it’s worth noting wide receiver Kawaan Baker will be eligible to return from his suspension after Week 6’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, likely signing with the Saints practice squad (where Kirk Merritt, Keith Kirkwood, and rookie returns specialist Rashid Shaheed are currently on board).

Here is the list of others who are out for the season due to injuries:

  • DB Smoke Monday (rookie)
  • LB D’Marco Jackson (rookie draft pick)
  • LT Ethan Greenidge
  • LG Forrest Lamp
  • DT Albert Huggins

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Studs and Duds from Saints’ overseas loss Vikings

Studs and Duds from New Orleans Saints’ overseas 28-25 loss to Minnesota Vikings. Here are the most impactful performances of Week 4, via @DillySanders:

The New Orleans Saints let another very winnable game slip through their hands in their Week 4 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Saints fall to 1-3 with plenty of pieces of the team falling short of expectation. Most of the shortcoming come back to coaching, but here are all of the most impactful performances of the week, both good and bad:

Saints downgrade QB Jameis Winston, will start Andy Dalton vs. Vikings

Saints downgrade QB Jameis Winston, will start Andy Dalton vs. Vikings, via @RossJacksonNOLA:

After missing all three practices this week, New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston has officially been downgraded from doubtful to out. Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will assume the role as Saints signal caller in Winston’s stead. The 11-year veteran worked with the first team offense all week in London, where the game will be played.

When it comes to backup quarterbacks, there are certainly few options out there more experienced than Dalton. The former Cincinnati Bengals second-round draft selection has appeared in 152 regular season games. He has also stepped up in relief of quarterbacks in Chicago and Dallas when injuries struck.

With over 35,000 career passing yards and a career passer rating of 87.0, New Orleans could be in far worse hands having to go to a backup passer. Dalton was also given the chance to gather some experience with this year’s Saints skill position group throughout training camp while Winston missed time with an ankle injury. So he is more familiar with the system than an emergency option called up a week before a matchup.

Winston is dealing with four fractures in his back, an ankle injury and is less than a year removed from the ACL tear which ended his 2021 campaign early. A switch to Dalton seemed inevitable after an underwhelming performance last week. Even though the switch is injury-related, some believe that Dalton could be a better option for the Saints moving forward. Those questions will soon be answered.

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