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John DeShazier: Running back C.J. Spiller on inactive list bit of a surprise

Travaris Cadet, Marcus Murphy could play role of change-of-pace backs

Surprisingly, running back C.J. Spiller is among the New Orleans Saints’ inactives for the season opener against Oakland on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Surprising, because Spiller had an injury-free offseason and preseason, and looked to have back his "juice." He wasn't on the injury list this week so if he's a healthy scratch, it means Saints Coach Sean Payton must feel more comfortable with Marcus Murphy and Travaris Cadet as his change-up backs against the Raiders. We'll know later if Spiller suffered an injury, but the Saints lose an element of speed without him.

Also, in a bit of a surprise, the Saints are going with two tight ends Sunday, rather than three, with Chris Manhertz inactive. Coby Fleener and Josh Hill are the two up.

The fact that defensive end Obum Gwacham is inactive, after entering training camp as a possible starter, says that the addition of Paul Kruger, and emergence of Kasim Edebali and Darryl Tapp, means the Saints are satisfied with their defensive end rotation and with what they have working on special teams without Gwacham.

As for the Raiders, they're going with four cornerbacks, not a huge deal because of the cover ability of safety Reggie Nelson. But the Saints won't mind having him in isolated situations.

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