Andrus Peat ‘happy to step in at guard;’ Benjamin Watson nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year _lowres

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints tackle Andrus Peat

Andrus Peat’s future is at tackle.

But the top pick of the Saints’ 2015 draft might see some time on the inside soon.

Peat, who has played 120 snaps this season at tackle or as a sixth offensive lineman, is in the mix to take over a left guard spot that’s been uncertain of late.

“We worked Andrus at guard and tackle last week,” Saints offensive line coach Bret Ingalls said. “He went in late in the game last game (at left tackle), and he played fast, played confident. I was really impressed with what he did in those 14, 15 reps. We’re still kicking it around.”

Tim Lelito has started nine games at left guard for the Saints, and Senio Kelemete has started four games, including one at left guard.

In a Nov. 15 loss to Washington, Lelito and Kelemete rotated, and now Peat is in the mix.

“They’ve both played well at times, and at other times there’s breakdowns,” Ingalls said. “I think they both deserve the opportunity to play.”

Peat has gotten repetitions at left guard sporadically throughout the season.

The big rookie has always played tackle before, and the Saints see him as a tackle moving forward, but he’s gotten accustomed to guard.

“Things just happen faster at guard,” Peat said. “Guys aren’t lined up wide, they’re right on you. The guys you’re blocking are different.”

Peat — who started two games in place of Terron Armstead at left tackle before a sprained MCL knocked him out of action for two games — wants as many chances as he can get.

“I’ve got a little bit of experience, starting a couple of games,” Peat said. “I just want to get an opportunity to go out there and play.”

Deep impact

The Saints made two moves to add depth to their defense this week by bringing in pass rusher Phillip Hunt and cornerback Chris Owens.

Owens was brought in to shore up a position hit hard by injuries to Damian Swann and Keenan Lewis, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a sports hernia and a knee injury suffered against Washington.

But neither Hunt or Owens will likely play a key role in the game plan at Houston on Sunday.

“Right now, they would be depth moves,” Payton said. “We’ve got a little flexibility to do that.”

Owens, a 28-year-old who has played for five teams in eight seasons, played in 11 games for Kansas City last year.

Hunt, a former CFL star, likely factors in as a situational pass rusher if he sticks with the Saints. Earlier this year, Hunt registered a sack in two games with Detroit, and he’s always had an ability to get to the quarterback.

But he hasn’t played much outside linebacker in his career. Hunt has almost always lined up with his hand on the ground.

“I’ve had a little practice working at outside linebacker, but mainly defensive end is what I always did,” Hunt said. “Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I’m willing to try and do it.”

Injury report

For the most part, the Saints’ official injury report Thursday matched the first one of the week, with two exceptions.

Rookie middle linebacker Stephone Anthony was listed as limited with a leg injury — the first time he has appeared on the report this season — and veteran linebacker Ramon Humber (hamstring) was upgraded to a full participant.

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hip), linebacker David Hawthorne (thigh), Lewis (hip/knee) and Swann (concussion) did not practice. In addition to Anthony, Armstead (knee), linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha (knee) and running back Mark Ingram (shoulder) were limited. Humber and wide receiver Willie Snead (knee) were both full participants.