Stefon Diggs, De'Vante Harris

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs runs from New Orleans Saints cornerback De'Vante Harris, right, after making a reception during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn) ORG XMIT: MNCN107

Bruce Kluckhohn

The Saints defense got off to a disappointing start on Monday, compounded by an embarrassing error on the first play of the season.

New Orleans lined up with just 10 men on defense on the Vikings' first snap, the product of a miscommunication on the sideline. 

"First play of the game, we had it initially as a nickel call, and we ended up with just two corners instead of the third corner," Saints coach Sean Payton said. 

New Orleans played Marshon Lattimore, P.J. Williams and De'Vante Harris at cornerback for most of the game, and only Lattimore and Williams were on the field to start. 

"To go out and start the season that way. ... obviously a lack of communication to start," linebacker A.J. Klein said. "I think that obviously could fall on me, I need to know who's out there, personnel, so I'll take that responsibility."

New Orleans did not have any similar mistakes the rest of the game. 

Minnesota took advantage of several New Orleans defensive mistakes the rest of the game, but even with only 10 men on the field to start, the Saints minimized the damage. Facing a short-handed defense, Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford completed a 4-yard throw to Dalvin Cook, who was tackled immediately by Klein. 

"There's communication that goes on between base and nickel, and without singling anyone out, look, we didn't get it communicated clearly enough," Payton said. "Fortunately, it didn't end up hurting us on that specific play."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.