Two days after Saints tight end Jimmy Graham hurt his shoulder in a victory against Tampa Bay, the team on Tuesday signed another player at his position: free agent Tom Crabtree.
Crabtree will occupy the roster spot of safety Jairus Byrd, who was officially put on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury on Tuesday. Byrd hurt himself in practice on Thursday and had surgery Friday.
Undrafted out of Miami (Ohio), the 6-foot-5, 244-pound Crabtree played 46 games with the Packers from 2010 to 2012. He had 18 catches for 302 yards and four touchdowns with the Packers, and he won a Super Bowl ring with them following the 2010 season.
Crabtree played seven games with Tampa Bay in 2013 and caught four passes for 21 yards and a touchdown. After signing with the Saints, he will be under tight ends Benjamin Watson and Josh Hill.
Graham, who leads the Saints with 34 receptions for 376 yards and three touchdowns this season, was hurt in the first half of the 2-3 Saints’ 37-31 overtime win at home against Tampa Bay (1-4) on Sunday. An NFL Network report labeled Graham’s injury as a sprained shoulder, but coach Sean Payton has refused to get into specifics about his tight end’s condition.
Watson has nine grabs for 64 yards, and Hill has seven catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns.