For much of the past five seasons, Saints coach Sean Payton could always rely on the consistency and health of his offensive line.
But as New Orleans gets ready for its game at Jacksonville on Sunday, Payton’s offensive line likely will welcome two new starters, thanks to a run on injuries in the Saints’ win against the Texans on Sept. 25.
Center Olin Kreutz (left knee) and right tackle Zach Strief (right leg) did not practice Wednesday, meaning Brian de la Puente and second-year player Charles Brown were getting work at positions with the first team.
Payton, who used the word spoiled when talking about the consistency of his line, said the lack of game experience for both of them is made up for because both have been with the team for more than just this season.
“They’ve gotten a lot of snaps through our training camp and really through the period of our program,” he said.
With the six players sitting out Wednesday’s practice with various injuries, including three linebackers, the Saints set about shifting their roster to add depth in the short team.
New Orleans cut defensive tackle Mitch King and placed kicker Garrett Hartley (right hip) on injured reserve and added offensive tackle Pat McQuistan, who started eight games with Miami in 2010, and linebacker Ramon Humber, who was in training camp with the Saints this summer.