Jimmy Graham Injury: Updates on Saints TE's Ankle Injury

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints scores a touchdown over  Brandon Flowers #24 of the Kansas City Chiefs at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 23, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Jimmy Graham had one catch for four yards before leaving the New Orleans Saints' Sunday Night Football matchup against the San Diego Chargers with an injury.

UPDATE: Sunday, October 28 at 6:25 p.m. ET by Eric Ball

Good news for the Saints as FOX Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer reports that the star tight end will indeed be active tonight against the Denver Broncos:

Saints expect Jimmy Graham to be active tonight barring a setback in warmups

— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 28, 2012

While nobody is sure how effective he’ll be, Saints fans and fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief that their tight end will be suiting up in Week 8.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Friday, October 26 at 1:41 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

The encouraging news about Jimmy Graham keeps flowing for the Saints. The star tight end may very well return to the lineup in Week 8 against the Denver Broncos, but a decision won't be reached until right before kickoff, according to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune and nola.com:

#Saints injuries: TE Jimmy Graham and LB Daniel Hawthorne will be game-time decisions vs. #Broncos. Graham did more in practice Friday.

— Mike Triplett (@TripTP) October 26, 2012


#Saints TE Jimmy Graham said hes "definitely" coming along. still getting a lot of rehab on ankle. But 'If it was up to me Id play.Im good.'

— Mike Triplett (@TripTP) October 26, 2012


Considering the awful state of the Saints' secondary, QB Drew Brees is going to need all the help he can get in will likely be a high-scoring affair opposite Broncos signal-caller Peyton Manning. This Sunday night showdown is sure to be electrifying; Graham's presence would add even more excitement.

Stay tuned for more as kickoff approaches.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, October 24 at 3:21 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Great news for Saints fans and fantasy owners as Jimmy Graham was a limited participant in practice today, according to New Orleans Times-Picayune and nola.com's Mike Triplett.

#Saints TE Jimmy Graham practiced on limited basis. Joe Vitt said he did "land-based" activities, ran routes on air.

— Mike Triplett (@TripTP) October 24, 2012


UPDATE: Saturday, October 20 at 1:40 p.m. ET by Ryan Davenport

Those hoping that Jimmy Graham would be on the field with the Saints on Sunday will be disappointed, as NBC's Mike Florio has reported that Graham did not make the trip to Tampa Bay:

Early in the week, the Saints’ plan was to play tight end Jimmy Graham on Sunday.

The plan has changed.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells us that the team has decided to let Graham rest his injured ankle. He will not be traveling with his teammates to Tampa for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

With Graham out, the Saints will need others to step up against the Bucs, but hopefully the Saints' decision to leave Graham in New Orleans will help the All-Pro tight end recover and get back to 100 percent more quickly.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Thursday, October 18 at 2:37 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

There may be hope after all for Jimmy Graham to play in Week 7, according to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Time-Picayune:

#Saints injuries: TE Jimmy Graham returned to practice on limited basis. David Hawthorne did not practice. Everyone else full.

— Mike Triplett (@TripTP) October 18, 2012


Obviously a good sign that #Saints TE Jimmy Graham might be able to play Sunday against #Bucs after all. But expect game-day decision.

— Mike Triplett (@TripTP) October 18, 2012


The bye week has definitely been beneficial for Graham's recovery. The Saints will need all the help they can get on offense in what will likely be another shootout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Thursday, October 18 at 10:12 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

What started out as an optimistic week for Saints fans and fantasy owners is quickly turning into a downward spiral. NBC's Evan Silva reports via ESPN's Adam Schefter that the Jimmy Graham's chances of playing Sunday aren't looking as promising as originally thought.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on SportsCenter that there's "not a lot of optimism" about Jimmy Graham's (ankle) status for Week 7.

— Evan Silva (@evansilva) October 18, 2012



UPDATE: Wednesday, October 17, 3:00 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

Much to the chagrin of the New Orleans Saints fans out there, star tight end Jimmy Graham missed Wednesday’s practice and remains questionable for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Saints columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Mike Triplett, is reporting on Graham’s status:

#Saints injury update: TE Jimmy Graham did not practice. Neither did Scott Shanle, David Hawthorne.

— Mike Triplett (@TripTP) October 17, 2012

While this is not great news for the Saints, the team is coming off a bye week and could be playing it safe with the tight end's health. New Orleans realizes it needs Graham healthy, so not pushing him during the week in hopes of having him ready Sunday is the right course of action.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, Oct 17 at 8:18 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Jimmy Graham (ankle) is not expected to miss the Saints' Week 7 contest, according to NBC Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.

Amid rumors that Saints tight end Jimmy Graham could miss several games with a sprained ankle, a source with knowledge of the situation has a far rosier estimate for Graham.

Per the source, Graham will miss none.

That’s what we’re hearing as the Saints prepare to emerge from their bye week with a trip to Tampa for a key NFC South showdown with the Bucs.


UPDATE: Monday, Oct 8 at 1:05 a.m. ET by Tim Keeney

Early indications regarding Jimmy Graham's ankle injury aren't good (via the Times-Picayune's Larry Holder):

Jimmy Graham left the locker room with a walking boot on his right foot. All Kromer said about Graham's ankle was, "We'll see."

— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) October 8, 2012

This isn't great news for Saints fans. Graham looked extremely ginger when he was back on the field during Sunday night's game. While a boot could simply be a precaution, it's also a sign that the talented tight end likely won't be 100 percent for a while.

An X-ray or MRI should be coming in the next few days, so we'll let you know when more becomes known.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Sunday, October 7 at 11:02 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

Exhale, Saints fans. According to WWL-TV Sports, Graham is back on the field:

Jimmy Graham is in the game, by the way.

— WWL-TV Sports (@wwltvsports) October 8, 2012

---End of Update---


According to the Saints' Twitter feed, Graham's injury could keep him out for the remainder of the game:

Jimmy Graham has an ankle injury and is questionable to return #SDvsNO

— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 8, 2012

Losing Graham would be a blow to the Saints, despite Drew Brees' ability to use an assortment of weapons. 

Graham's 6'7'' frame and freakish athleticism makes him a matchup nightmare, putting constant stress on the opposing defense. This opens up space for the Saints receivers and running backs to maneuver. 

Coming into Sunday night's game, Graham had 24 catches for 248 yards and three touchdowns. He's not on pace to catch last year's catch total (99) or yards total (1,310), but he's still catching his fair share of scores.

If Graham is out of the lineup, David Thomas becomes the Saints' primary tight end. He doesn't bring Graham's receiving ability, but he's a solid option.

Instead of using a tight end at all, you could see the Saints use more four- and five-wide sets. Using Thomas as a blocker in run-first situations seems more ideal.

Graham is a must-start at tight end in every fantasy football league, so I'm sure owners are watching intently. Most owners probably do not have an equally productive option on their bench, instead using Graham as their starter week-in and week-out. 

If Graham misses any length of time, it's going to deal another blow to a reeling Saints squad. He's one of Brees' best targets, and he's irreplaceable.