The New Orleans Saints will be without starting safety Marcus Maye for the next three games, as the player and team learned Wednesday that Maye was suspended by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Maye started at strong safety the first two games, as the Saints opened 2-0 for the first time since 2013. He totaled 13 tackles, a sack, an interception and a pass defensed in the two games, but a possible suspension had been looming since Maye reached a plea deal and was given six months probation following a 2021 driving under the influence charge.
Maye will miss Sunday's road game against Green Bay, New Orleans' next home game Oct. 1 against Tampa Bay, and the Oct. 8 road trip to play against New England.
"We've got several options that we have to fill in in that role," Saints Coach Dennis Allen said. "We'll go through the week of practice, we'll make a determination on where we're going.
"But we've got several options there in terms of who can go in and fill in in that role – J.T. (Gray), Jordan Howden, Lonnie Johnson. Ugo (Amadi) could fill that role. We'll have a plan in place for making sure we're good in that spot.
"All throughout training camp, we felt like the secondary was a position of strength. We felt like we had several safeties that were NFL football players."
Maye started 10 games last season, his first with the Saints, and finished with 60 tackles, two passes defensed and a forced fumble. He was a five-year starter with the Jets before joining the Saints.
"We've got a lot of good options there," Allen said. "Obviously, missing a player of Marcus Maye's stature is a blow to us, but yet, we feel good about the guy we have backing him up.
"We knew that this was certainly a possibility as we got into the season. This is something that has kind of been on the league's radar for really a year-and-a-half or a couple of years now, so we know that this was potentially coming at some point in time."