Atlanta – Rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore is back in the lineup after a two-game absence as the New Orleans Saints (9-3) look to extend their NFC South Division lead over Atlanta (7-5) Thursday night in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Lattimore, who missed the previous two games with an ankle injury, wasn’t a surprise addition. He was limited in practice all week (practice essentially was relegated to walk-throughs due to the abbreviated schedule), but was on the field for all the work that was viewed by the media during the open portion of practice.
The rookie is one of the leaders in the Defensive Rookie of the Year race, and his return coincides with the final game of a brutal three-games-in-11-days stretch that featured games against the NFC West Division-leading Rams (9-3) and NFC South rival Carolina (8-4). And his help will be needed against Falcons receiver Julio Jones (1,063 yards and three touchdowns on 68 receptions).
Also returning in the secondary is rookie safety Marcus Williams, who sat out Sunday’s 31-21 victory over Carolina with a groin injury. His return allowed the Saints to have safety Rafael Bush inactive.
Left guard Andrus Peat (groin) was declared out Wednesday. However, New Orleans gained back left tackle Terron Armstead after a one-game absence, and Senio Kelemete, New Orleans’ utility lineman who has played four offensive line positions this season, fills in for Peat at left guard.
No. 3 quarterback Taysom Hill is active for the second consecutive game, for special team duty. Against Carolina, he had two tackles on kickoff returns and nearly blocked a couple of punts despite never having played special teams before.
The remaining inactives are: running back Jonathan Williams, tight end Garrett Griffin, center Cameron Tom, receiver Austin Carr and defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad.
See the best moments from Saints' Taysom Hill and special teams in the Week 13 match up against the Carolina Panthers.