The Thanksgiving Day finale is the New Orleans Saints taking on the Buffalo Bills in a critical matchup for both teams. Josh Allen and the Bills are trying to respond after getting blown out by the Indianapolis Colts.
The Saints are coming off a loss of their own, courtesy of Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, both teams have to sit around until the evening to face off at the Superdome.
Unfortunately, the Saints have a lot of issues to overcome for this game and some that could potentially derail any chances of them making a playoff surge.
The Saints injuries continue to mount as Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram missed practice
The Saints injury report on Tuesday was not encouraging by any means. Alvin Kamara missed the game against the Eagles and is now set to miss the showdown on Thanksgiving.
Mark Ingram stepped in for Kamara and played well, going for over 100 combined yards and a score. However, he is also on the injury report. If Ingram can’t go, Tony Jones would likely be the biggest beneficiary.
Ryan Ramczyk and Marcus Davenport are trending in the wrong direction, and tight end Adam Trautman was placed on Injured Reserve after the Eagles defeated the Saints.
Alas, even more pressure on either Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill — who himself earned a nice, new contract.
The Saints also lost another offensive lineman after the Eagles game in what has been an unreal amount of injuries in New Orleans.
On top of all that, let’s not forget that Michael Thomas and Jameis Winston are out for the year as well. All in all, Sean Payton’s job keeps getting more and more difficult.
The Bills injury report is the exact opposite ahead of the Thanksgiving battle
The Bills have the opposite situation regarding injuries. On Wednesday’s injury report, the Bills had just two players listed — both as full participants.
That is an encouraging sign for Buffalo, who desperately need a victory after a bizarre showing against the Colts. Jonathan Taylor ran wild and scored five total touchdowns on the game as he continues to rise up the NFL MVP board.
Allen and Buffalo should have a perfect opportunity to bounce back. However, nobody has any idea what would happen with the NFL being as bizarre as it has been lately.
Is this the week that Allen jumps back into the NFL MVP conversation? Well, the Saints’ limitations should help that cause, if anything.
The Saints playoff hopes are diminshing quickly
It seems like so long ago that the Saints upset Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New Orleans has dropped three straight games since defeating the Bucs.
Once 5-2, they are now 5-5 and dealing with way too many injuries to stay afloat. The good news, however, is that the NFC is wide open for the Wild Card spots.
Even at 5-5, the Saints were the seven seed heading into the Thanksgiving game against the Bills. The Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers are also at 5-5, and the Eagles and Carolina Panthers are 5-6.
Truth be told, any of these teams can find a way into the playoffs, but the Saints’ massive amount of injuries is going to be a challenging obstacle to overcome.
If Kamara and others continue to miss time, things will be even more difficult for Payton and the Saints going forward.