Saints place Andrus Peat on injured reserve, had 20 players on I.R. this year

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints will be down a man on the offensive line as they head to Minnesota to face the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense on Sunday.

Left guard Andrus Peat was officially placed on injured reserve Wednesday with the leg injury he suffered in Sunday's wild-card win over the Carolina Panthers.

The NFL Network reported that Peat suffered a broken fibula and sprained ankle but did not suffer significant damage to any ligaments.

Peat had his best season in 2017 since being drafted with the 13th overall pick out of Stanford in 2015 -- while splitting time between left guard and left tackle for an offense that led the NFL in both yards per rush and yards per pass attempt. Peat even got an All-Pro vote.

The saving grace for New Orleans is that it should be a smooth transition to veteran backup Senio Kelemete, who has started eight games this year and 22 games over the past three seasons.

“Senio's played a ton of snaps. It's as if he's been a starter,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. “He can play every position, too. So that's just how valuable a guy he is.”

The Saints also placed veteran backup Tony McDaniel on injured reserve with an unspecified ailment. They re-signed veteran offensive tackle Bryce Harris and promoted defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton from the practice squad to fill the roster spots.

The Saints have now placed a whopping 20 players injured reserve this year -- in addition to placing veteran defensive tackle Nick Fairley on the reserve/non-football illness list this summer because of a heart condition.

That list includes nine projected starters -- including late-season losses like linebacker A.J. Klein, safety Kenny Vaccaro, defensive end Alex Okafor and tight end Coby Fleener.

Brees said the good news is that because of the rash of injuries, the Saints have developed good depth and experience throughout the year.

“Obviously it'd be nice to be 100 percent healthy, but guys will be ready,” Brees said.

Only one other player missed practice for the Saints on Wednesday -- receiver Brandon Coleman with a neck injury.

Seven other players were limited: DE Cameron Jordan (knee), LT Terron Armstead (thigh), DT Sheldon Rankins (ankle), DT David Onyemata (thumb), DE Trey Hendrickson (ankle), CB P.J. Williams (ankle) and TE Michael Hoomanawanui (back).