The Saints named four healthy inactives for their Week 1 game at Atlanta on Sunday: CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OL Senio Kelemete, wide receiver Nick Toon and nose tackle John Jenkins.
They had previously ruled out three players with injuries: wide receiver Kenny Stills (quad), fullback Erik Lorig (ankle) and safety Marcus Ball (hamstring).
Toon’s deactivation means the Saints’ receivers are Marques Colston, Joseph Morgan, Brandin Cooks and Robert Meachem. Jenkins’ deactivation means Brandon Deaderick will be the backup at nose tackle under Brodrick Bunkley, and he can also spell players at defensive end.
Kelemete’s and Jean-Baptiste’s deactivations were expected. Tim Lelito will be providing depth at center and guard instead of Kelemete, and the Saints went with undrafted rookie Brian Dixon to at the fourth cornerback spot instead of Jean-Baptiste, a second-round draft choice.
Stills sat out the first, second and fourth exhibition games with an injury he first sustained at a voluntary offseason workout with quarterback Drew Brees in San Diego in June, and he subsequently re-aggravated it at the first practice of training camp. He tweaked the quad a third time in the third exhibition of the preseason, was limited in practice Wednesday and Friday and was out of the session Thursday.
Ball missed the last two preseason games. He did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. As long as Jairus Byrd, Kenny Vaccaro and Rafael Bush are healthy, Ball will not be above them on the depth chart. The only other safety on the roster is rookie Vinnie Sunseri, who should see lots of action on special teams.
Other rookies available are outside linebacker Kasim Edebali (undrafted) and linebacker Ronald Powell (fifth-round choice).
Lorig was hurt in the Saints intrasquad scrimmage Aug. 2 and has been out since. Filling in is Austin Johnson, who will appear in his first NFL regular-season game after spending 2013 on the Saints’ practice squad.
For the Falcons, the inactives are backup quarterback Sean Renfree, CB Javier Arenas, LB Nate Stupar, LB Tyler Starr, C James Stone, T Ryan Schraeder and DT Corey Peters.
Peters was the only one of those players listed on Atlanta’s injury report this week. He was dealing with an injured Achilles tendon while being a full participant at practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and he was classified as probable heading into Sunday’s game against the Saints.