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New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha (44) bats down a would be touchdown pass to Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

The Saints defense has taken another hit.

The team placed linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha on injured reserve after he suffered an ankle injury during Sunday's win over the Atlanta Falcons. New Orleans claimed edge rusher Kasim Edebali off waivers to fill the roster spot.

Kikaha struggled to find snaps early in the season and was a healthy scratch in several games, but he took on a more prominent role in recent weeks after several other injuries on defense. After working as a defensive end the last two years, he had been filling in as a strongside linebacker, where he played as a rookie, the last couple weeks.

He finishes the season with four sacks in 12 appearances.A former second round pick, Kikaha spent 2016 on injured reserve with a torn ACL after recording four sacks as a rookie in 2015.

Edebali spent his first three seasons with New Orleans before signing with the Denver Broncos during the offseason. He also spent time with the Detroit Lions and Rams this year. His best season came in 2015 when he finished with five sacks.

Follow Nick Underhill on Twitter, @nick_underhill.​