Jimmy Graham suffered an ankle injury in last night’s first win by the New Orleans Saints over the San Diego Chargers and was seen in a waking boot immediately following the game. While he was hurt in the second quarter and was able to return to play in the second half, Graham finished the game with just one catch for four yards.
Graham rolled his ankle on his lone catch of the game and was sidelined afterward as the trainers taped him up before halftime. Although he was deemed questionable to return, Graham did play more snaps in the third and fourth quarter than any other Saints’ tight end, but he did not receive another target the rest of the game
The fact that he returned at all was surprising, but if the Saints felt that he could still be a good decoy, that sort of went by the wayside by them not throwing him another pass. The Chargers may not be great, but they aren’t that stupid either.
It is not yet known if Graham will miss any significant time for New Orleans, but the team does have its’ bye week next week, meaning Graham can take some time to rest and may not have to miss any game action. Asked if Graham will have to miss week 7, the Saints’ interim head coach Aaron Kromer simply said “We’ll see.”
That fact that Graham was able to return and play most of the second half should hopefully be taken as a good sign. New Orleans will rest a few of their key players during the bye week, including Lance Moore, but nobody may be more valuable to the Saints’ offense going forward than Graham [Drew Brees aside, of course].
New Orleans will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a key NFC South battle in week 7 of the 2012 NFL season. The Saints will certainly hope to build off of their first win of the year last night, and they will need every healthy player on both sides of the ball if they still hope to compete for a postseason berth.
Graham is definitely a big part of those plans.