It may have been the best waffle ever.
Rookie Seantavius Jones was having breakfast earlier this week at a local eatery when he learned his great fate: The Saints (5-8) had moved him from their practice squad to the active roster.
That change makes him eligible to play for the first time this season, just in time for Monday night’s game at Chicago (5-8).
Not to mention it gave him a hefty raise.
Jones’ doughy delight could have been served cold.
Without syrup. No fork.
Floored by the news, Jones probably would not have noticed.
“After I got the news, I was smiling,” he said Thursday. “Been smiling all day. Still smiling.”
Jones, a first-year player from Division II school Valdosta State, takes the roster spot of fourth-year receiver Joe Morgan, who was released after the Saints’ 41-10 home loss to Carolina. Morgan was a great one-dimensional receiver, a solid deep threat for quarterback Drew Brees.
But Morgan’s tenure was complicated by a season-ending knee injury suffered during 2013 training camp and a team suspension for undisclosed reasons. Sunday’s loss included a moment in the second half when Morgan appeared to draw the ire of coach Sean Payton.
“It’s always tough to see guys go, especially guys you’ve had some time with,” Brees said. “I know Joe kind of had an up-and-down journey while he was here. He had some great moments, some great flashes and yet, at times, there’s tough decisions that have to be made.”
In 2013, Jones caught 55 passes for 777 yards and 13 touchdowns at Valdosta State. He’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds.
“I think I can be a complete receiver one day,” Jones said.
That guy again
Alshon Jeffery enjoyed a stellar outing last season against the Saints.
Of course, Jeffery wants to repeat it Monday night. And the Chicago Bears need him to, with receiver Brandon Marshall on injured reserve.
Last season, Jeffery caught 10 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown during the Saints’ 26-18 win at Soldier Field. This year, he has 73 catches for 949 yards and eight TDs.
“He spent a lot of the season not at full strength,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “I think the last four or five weeks has been the healthiest he’s been. He still had to miss some practices because of some nagging injuries.
“I think overall he is hitting his stride here in the last few weeks. Hopefully that continues.”
Bears running back Matt Forté, a product of Slidell High and Tulane, was one of four products of New Orleans-area high schools named to the USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, which honors NFL players who exhibit exemplary technique for youth players to emulate.
Forté ranks third in the NFL with 1,578 yards from scrimmage. He ranks ninth in rushing (854 yards) and is tied for fourth with 86 receptions, the most by any running back. USA Football noted his patience, which lets plays develop in front of him, before accelerating into the hole, as well as his smoothness in and out of cuts and ability to change direction without losing speed.
Joining Forté was Denver quarterback Peyton Manning (Newman), Indianapolis receiver Reggie Wayne (John Ehret) and Baltimore return specialist Jacoby Jones (St. Augustine).
Saints left tackle Terron Armstead (neck) and outside linebacker Junior Galette (knee) missed Thursday’s practice. Middle linebacker David Hawthorne (hip) and defensive end Akiem Hicks (ankle) were limited.
For the Bears, safety Chris Conte (back), kicker Robbie Gould (right quad), tackle/guard Michael Ola (back) and linebacker Darryl Sharpton (hamstring) missed practice. Defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) was limited.