By Rich Kurtzman
While there’s a full slate of NFL action this Sunday, everyone will be waiting for the monster matchup on Sunday Night Football between the New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos.
The Saints come to the Mile High City with the third highest scoring offense and the No. 1 passing game in the league, and for the Broncos to try and slow them down, they’ll need to play spectacularly in the secondary. But the Broncos’ bad news got worse this week in that department.
Tracy Porter, starting cornerback, was held out of the team’s last game against San Diego with what the team first called an illness and what was called dizziness. But then it was revealed that Porter is dealing with seizures, quite a concerning condition, especially since he’s never dealt with them before. Porter told Cecil Lammey, “It’s a pretty scary thought process. Things are steadily going in a positive direction for me.” While he practiced Monday through Wednesday, the fifth-year corner was held out Thursday and Friday and it’s highly unlikely he will play this Sunday. If Porter can’t go, it’s a blow to the Broncos’ defensive backfield, but they’re in luck with two capable backups in Chris Harris and Tony Carter. Together, the two backups combined to force four turnovers two weeks ago, and Harris will probably get the start with Porter out. Harris, too, is banged up, with a bad ankle he’s been dealing with almost the entire season. And it doesn’t end there for Denver, as safety Mike Adams is probable with a bum knee. In all, eight Broncos are listed, all of them probable but Porter.
Part of the force behind the Saints’ high-flying passing attack is highly athletic tight end Jimmy Graham, who’s been slowed with a severe ankle sprain. Graham uses his speed to run past defenders, and when he’s not 100 percent, his explosiveness is limited. Graham was held to one reception in Week Five against the Chargers and was completely held out of last week’s win over the Buccaneers. While the 6’7” tight end is a wonderful tool for New Orleans’ quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints’ offense still managed to score 31 and 35 points with Graham limited or out. As of Friday, Graham was listed as questionable and he’s expected to be a game-time decision this week.
Backup tight end Daniel Graham is out for New Orleans due to a knee, as is backup receiver Josh Morgan with a chest injury.
Safety Mike Adams (knee)
Cornerback Chris Harris (ankle)
Guard Chris Kuper (forearm)
Tackle Dealver Siliga (non-injury related)
Linebacker Danny Trevathan (thumb)
Wide receiver Matt Willis (hamstring)
Running back Darren Sproles (non-injury related)
Cornerback Tracy Porter (illness)
Tight end Jimmy Graham (ankle)
Linebacker David Hawthorne (hamstring)
Tight end Daniel Graham (knee)
Wide receiver Joseph Morgan (chest)
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Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Find more of Rich’s Denver Broncos pieces on Examiner.com.