Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
John Sigler

New Orleans Saints practice squad tracker: Instant analysis on every pickup

Buy Saints Tickets

We’re past the busiest part of the week for the NFL, but it isn’t over just yet. Tuesday’s roster cuts deadline precedes a hectic signing period in which all 32 teams work to quickly build their 16-man practice squads, and the New Orleans Saints are no exception. Many of the players on their practice squad were just let go Tuesday, but some of them could be coming from other teams around the league.

Check this space often for updates on each pickup:

WR Shaquan Davis

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Davis impressed Saints fans with his acrobatic catches in the preseason games, and he’ll have more opportunities to compete for reps on New Orleans’ practice squad. Read more here.

LB Anfernee Orji

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Orji led the Saints in snaps played on special teams in preseason and that could be his path to a roster spot. He’s a high-level athlete, and he’ll have more chances to earn snaps at practice while developing his craft. Read more here.

S Johnathan Abram

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Abram played well over the summer but he was stuck in a very crowded position group. Having someone with his experience ready to come off the bench (especially with a suspension likely for starting safety Marcus Maye) is a luxury. Read more here.

LB Ty Summers

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Summers joined the Saints late last season and made some plays covering punts and kickoffs on special teams. He’ll stick around to help out in that capacity while pushing for snaps on defense. Read more here.

CB Anthony Johnson

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson got picked on a bit in preseason, but he’s got all the tools he’ll need to be successful. He’s a good project to keep around on the practice squad where he can work on his coverage techniques. Read more here.

DT Jack Heflin

Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via Imagn Content Services, LLC

This is a good get. Heflin led the Saints defense in quarterback pressures through their three preseason games, having picked up some new moves in his XFL experience. The Saints are strong at defensive tackle on top of the depth chart but it’s good to have a disruptive player like Heflin waiting for his chance. Read more here.

WR Jontre Kirklin

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Kirklin made some plays on offense and special teams, and his ability to return kicks could help him earn activation on game days. He was a regular at LSU for years for his skills as a utility player. Read more here.

DE Kyle Phillips

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Phillips ended the Saints’ first preseason game with a clutch interception, but he continued to play an interesting role as a defensive lineman with the versatility to line up inside and out on the edge. He’s been in the league since 2019, appearing in 29 games. Read more here.

RB Jordan Mims

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Mims signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent, but the rookie running back is now reunited with his college teammate Jake Haener in New Orleans. Mims ended his career at Fresno State ranked top-five in just about every category imaginable: all-purpose yards, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receptions by a running back, rushing attempts, and scoring. Read more here.

LB Jaylon Smith

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

This is interesting: the Saints are bringing Smith back on their practice squad, not the 53-man roster, as was widely anticipating. Either way it’s good to have him back in the building. He was their best linebacker outside Demario Davis and Pete Werner in preseason and it shouldn’t take long to get him into games. Read more here.

RB Tony Jones Jr.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jones struggled to stand out in the Denver Broncos’ crowded backfield, but he knows the Saints offense well and they could use more depth to get them through Alvin Kamara’s three-game suspension. Read more here.

RB Ellis Merriweather

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Merriweather was just waived by the Saints during roster cuts, but the undrafted rookie runs hard and is a very smooth pass-catcher. He’ll have more opportunities to shine though the team is suddenly very deep at running back with three on the 53-man roster and three more on the practice squad. Read more here.

DE Niko Lalos

John McCoy/Getty Images

This will make a lot of fans happy — Lalos led the team with four sacks in the preseason games, making plays as a high-effort pass rusher off the edge. He may not get many snaps so low on the depth chart but he’ll have opportunities to hone his craft. Read more here.

OL Mark Evans II

Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini

Evans signed with the Saints as one of their highest-paid undrafted free agents earlier this year, having played well at left tackle for Arkansas-Pine Bluff (the same alma mater as Terron Armstead). It makes sense to bring him back for a longer look. He’s been cross-training at both guard spots in New Orleans. Read more here.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.