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John DeShazier: Saints will play Panthers without cornerback Marshon Lattimore

Posted Dec 3, 2017

Saints also missing rookie safety Marcus Williams from secondary

The New Orleans Saints regained one starting cornerback for Sunday’s game against Carolina in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but it wasn’t rookie sensation Marshon Lattimore.

Lattimore will miss his second consecutive game with an ankle injury suffered against Washington on Nov. 19. Ken Crawley, who missed last week’s game against the Rams with an abdominal injury, returns to the lineup against the Panthers (8-3), the first team he started against this season. Crawley was inactive the first two games before starting against Carolina in Week 3. Ironically, one of the reasons he started was because Lattimore was inactive due to his recovery from a concussion.

That leaves Crawley and P.J. Williams as the possible starters at cornerback against the Panthers on Sunday, as they did in the Week 3 meeting. And likely, there will be an increased role for Sterling Moore this week. Moore was re-signed last week and his importance elevates with the Saints’ release of De’Vante Harris.

Also, quarterback Taysom Hill will be active for the first time as a Saint. Hill signed with the Saints (8-3) on Sept. 3 and has served as the No. 3 quarterback all season.

Of other significance, left tackle Terron Armstead is active. And after the Saints lost tight end Coby Fleener, who was placed on injured reserve after suffering a concussion against the Rams, the Saints signed tight end Garrett Griffin from the practice squad. The move allows New Orleans to keep three tight ends on the gameday roster (Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui are the others). And rookie cornerback Arthur Maulet revealed last week that he also had been signed from the practice squad, primarily to play special teams.

A spot opened in the secondary due to the groin injury rookie safety Marcus Williams suffered against the Rams. Williams is inactive today after not practicing last week.

The Saints’ remaining inactives are running back Jonathan Williams, center Cameron Tom, tackle Bryce Harris, receiver Austin Carr and defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad.