Saints vs. Texans: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
The third preseason game in the NFL traditionally puts starters on the field for an extended period of time. For that reason, this week’s games are as important as any exhibition tilt can be.
Both the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans are 2-0 this preseason. One team is going to get its first loss—unless there is a tie—of course.
With the regular season just two weeks away, avoiding injuries will still be key, but it is almost time to turn the attention from safety to preparation. Here’s how you can watch this game:
|Date and Time||TV||Spread|
|Sunday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. ET||NBC||Texans -3 per Bovada|
ESPN and Bovada
The injury situation doesn’t look great for the Texans, but there is a good chance they’ll get their primary weapon back on the field.
Per ESPN.com, Arian Foster is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Saints.
Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle reported that the star RB returned to practice. He increased his reps in practice, and the chances that Foster won’t miss significant time with a back injury are increasing. Per the Texans’ official site, Foster has been activated.
Per Deepi Sidhu of the Texans’ official site, here’s the rest of the Texans’ injury news.
After having his knee scoped, guard Wade Smith is likely to return until after the third preseason game.
Rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. He is in Stage 1 of the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Ed Reed will visit the surgeon to explore the next stage of rehabilitation for his injured hip. He is out, per Smith.
The Houston Chronicle's Dale Robertson reports that linebacker Whitney Mercilus is out with a hamstring injury, though head coach Gary Kubiak expects him back in time for the season opener.
New Orleans Saints
Marques Colston is probable for Sunday’s game despite a nagging foot injury per Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Holder also noted that wide receiver Joe Morgan and linebacker Victor Butler were both out with probable season-ending knee injuries.
Key Things to Watch
The Saints in the 3-4
This will be the first extended look at the Saints’ defensive starters in the 3-4 defense. Through the first two preseason games, the team has allowed an average of 16.5 points per game, but it has only faced the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders.
Testing itself against the Texans’ starters for more than a few series will be the most telling test New Orleans has faced to this point.
Foster’s Comfort Level
The Texans’ top priority right now has to be walking the thin line between preparing Foster for regular-season action and keeping him as healthy as possible.
He’s a smart veteran, so he doesn’t need a ton of reps to be ready for the regular season. If he does play against the Saints, keep an eye on how well he moves and if he can tolerate the pain he’ll likely have to play through this season.
Texans’ Backup QB Competition
The starting job in Houston obviously belongs to Matt Schaub, but T.J. Yates and Case Keenum are locked in a battle to be Schaub’s backup. In the NFL, that means you’re just a play away from being on the field.
Both guys have looked sharp with each alternating having the stronger performance in the the first two preseason games. We’ll see if Week 3 is the deciding factor.
Saints’ RB Situation
New Orleans loves the running back-by-committee approach, but Mark Ingram has to be pining for more carries. He's been limited to only 10.7 attempts per game in his two-year career.
His top competition for more carries is incumbent starter Pierre Thomas. The latter hasn’t played yet this preseason, but could see his first action against the Texans.
Don’t expect a dramatic reaction in any case, but a solid game could move Ingram a little closer to the starting spot.
With all the injuries the Texans have, this seems like a game the Saints will win. Drew Brees and Sean Payton will show just how potent this offense can still be and the defense will be good enough against the shorthanded Texans to win.
New Orleans will prevail 27-14.
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