Saints tight end Jimmy Graham returned to practice Friday for the first time this week. He’s been dealing with a foot injury he sustained during a Week 6 match-up with the New England Patriots and he is expected to be a game-time decision for Sunday.
Graham had an extended period to rest due to the Week 7 bye week, but it may not be enough to get him back on the field for Sunday’s contest with the Buffalo Bills. Graham was very limited Friday, but was able to participate in team drills. It seems like the Saints will sit Graham, or limit his involvement during Week 8.
If the Saints decide to sit Graham on Sunday, Darren Sproles and Marques Colston could see a boost in productivity as Brees will be searching for other options.
Though the Saints are still the easy favorite to win, Graham’s absence would be felt by quarterback Drew Brees. Graham has managed to break 100 yards in 4 straight games from weeks 2-5, scoring 5 touchdowns in that span. He’s been a dominant force and the go-to guy for the Saints offense.
Benjamin Watson would be Graham’s replacement if he were to sit this game out, but isn’t a strong fantasy option.
If a replacement is needed, it may be wise to look toward Seahawks tight end Zach Miller as a fill-in. Seattle is facing a weak Rams defense and Zach Miller should get decent production in the contest.
It seems very likely that the Saints let Graham rest, or limit his participation on Sunday. If he does suit up, consider Graham a borderline TE1.