TAMPA, Fla. — Among the Saints’ inactives for their season finale at Tampa Bay on Sunday is second-year safety Kenny Vaccaro, and active is quarterback Ryan Griffin, who was promoted to the full roster from the practice squad.
Vaccaro practiced with the Saints all week but has been dealing with a quad issue, a league source told The Advocate’s Nick Underhill. Meanwhile, as a source confirmed and the NFL Network first reported, Griffin was signed by the Saints through 2016 — that, combined with his availability to play Sunday against the 2-13 Buccaneers is an indication he could be a candidate to eventually be the primary backup to New Orleans franchise quarterback Drew Brees.
Griffin competed to become Brees’ No. 2 throughout the preseason, but ultimately lost the job to Luke McCown after completing 48-of-77 passes with three touchdowns and one interception. The former Tulane QB had been on the Saints’ practice squad since Week 1 of the 2014 season.
Griffin spent part of last season on the Saints’ 53-man roster but was never active for a game. He will be suiting up for his first regular-season NFL game at the home venue of the team where former Tulane quarterback Shaun King played from 1999-2003.
Other inactive players for the Saints (6-9) are receiver Seantavius Jones, receiver Brandon Coleman, cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste, linebacker Moise Fokou, linebacker Jerry Franklin and tackle Terron Armstead. Of those, Armstead (neck) was the only injured player.
Activated by the Saints for the first time since joining the team in November is backup tackle Nick Becton. Becton and third-year man Bryce Harris are under Armstead, a left tackle, on the team’s depth chart. Also active for the Saints for the first time is rookie nose tackle Lawrence Virgil. Officials say Virgil will start in place of John Jenkins, placed on season-ending injured reserve with a hurt abdomen.
Starting in place of defensive lineman Akiem Hicks — placed on injured reserve recently with a hurt ankle — will be Brandon Deaderick.
Right tackle Zach Strief is active for the Saints despite a neck injury. And Saints safety Jamarca Sanford is active after missing the previous game with a hurt hamstring.
For Tampa Bay, wide receiver Robert Herron, wide receiver Solomon Patton, running back Mike James, cornerback Isaiah Frey, defensive end George Uko, linebacker Mason Foster and tackle Anthony Collins are inactive.