3 Saints Fighting for Their Jobs in Saturday's Preseason Game

Three New Orleans Saints players fighting for their jobs in Saturday's preseason game.
Three New Orleans Saints players fighting for their jobs in Saturday's preseason game. / AP Photos/Gerald Herbert

The 2021 NFL season was the first time the New Orleans Saints failed to make the playoffs since 2016. It's a disappointing outcome players certainly want to avoid replicating in the 2022 NFL season. Fans will get their first glimpse of New Orleans stars in action in a preseason game on Saturday night.

A road preseason matchup against the Houston Texans will be a perfect opportunity for players on the cusp of making the team to prove why they deserve a spot. Translating success at practice into success on the field will be crucial. Let's take a look at three Saints players fighting for their jobs.

New Orleans Saints Preseason

1. Abram Smith, RB

Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are locked in as the Saints' top two running backs. A possible suspension could be coming for Kamara, though, which makes the battle between Tony Jones Jr., Dwayne Washington and Abram Smith for one or two roster spots something to keep an eye on. Smith is an undrafted free agent out of Baylor that has made a good first impression at training camp. The 23-year-old accounted for 1,676 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns in his final college season. Smith's best route to gaining some favor over the veterans at the position would be to shine with the special teams unit on Saturday.

2. Kirk Merritt, WR

After having very little depth at the wide receiver position last season, the Saints find themselves in the exact opposite situation this time around. The additions of rookie Chris Olave and veteran Jarvis Landry leaves Kirk Merritt on the outside looking in in terms of the Week 1 roster. Reports have been emerging throughout training camp about how Merritt continues to make one highlight play after another. The third-year pro only has one NFL reception to his name, but his quickness and play-making ability could end up pushing Tre'Quan Smith or Deonte Harty down in the pecking order. At the very least, Merritt lines up to be a practice squad member.

3. Chris Herndon, TE

The Saints signed veteran tight end Chris Herndon at the beginning of August to provide more depth at the position. However, that doesn't mean he is guaranteed a roster spot. Nick Vannett is has two years left remaining on his contract and rookie Lucas Krull is not going to go down without a fight. The undrafted free agent was named to the All-ACC second team in his final college season after posting 451 yards and 6 touchdowns on 38 receptions. If he can showcase consistent blocking abilities and reliable hands, Herndon may be back on the free agent market sooner than he expected to be.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.