Crabtree was signed just 11 days ago in the wake of tight end Jimmy Graham's shoulder injury. So his release could be taken as a good sign that Graham could possibly play Sunday against the Detroit Lions. That remains speculation, though. Graham said he would be a game-day decision after he practiced on a limited basis both Thursday and Friday.
The Saints also might have considered Crabtree expendable since fullback Erik Lorig has finally returned from an ankle injury -- and sometimes the positions are interchangeable in New Orleans' offense.
The Saints needed an extra body at linebacker because backups Ramon Humber and Kyle Knox were ruled out with ankle injuries. Davis is an undrafted rookie from Sacramento State who was with the Saints in training camp.