METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints have signed former Pro Bowl punter Brandon Fields as an injury replacement for their own Pro Bowl punter Thomas Morstead. They also released safety Kenny Phillips and receiver Joseph Morgan. It's unknown who will fill the other open roster spot, though the Saints auditioned three offensive linemen Tuesday and are expected to bring in kickers for workouts this week.
Fields' agent Ian Greengross announced his signing on Twitter.
Morstead suffered a strained quadriceps during this past Sunday night's victory over the Dallas Cowboys, according to coach Sean Payton. It’s unclear if Morstead is definitely out for this week’s game at the Philadelphia Eagles or how long he might be sidelined. Payton told WWL Radio on Monday that Morstead’s injury should come along “fine.”
Fields, 31, spent his first eight seasons with the Miami Dolphins, making the Pro Bowl in 2013. The Dolphins made the surprising decision to let him go last month in favor of undrafted rookie Matt Darr.
Fields and Morstead have each averaged 46.8 yards per punt in their career, which is tied for second in NFL history, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. Morstead also ranks first in NFL history with a net average of 41 yards per punt. Fields has averaged 39.4 net yards per punt in his career.
Phillips, 28, and Morgan, 27, have now been on and off the Saints' roster twice this season after they both missed the initial 53-man roster cut then were re-signed in Week 2.
Phillips started the last three games at free safety. But he apparently became expendable when Jairus Byrd returned from a knee injury this past week. Byrd played 37 snaps against the Dallas Cowboys, while Phillips played 26.
This marks yet another setback for Phillips, a former first-round pick of the New York Giants who made it back to the NFL this year after two years out of football. He had 12 tackles in three games.
Morgan's on-again, off-again relationship with the Saints dates back to 2011, when he first joined the team as an undrafted rookie out of Walsh. He has only appeared in 20 career games, including one this season, after spending two of those seasons on injured reserve and being released late last year. The Saints have continued to bring him back because of his big-play ability and his blocking ability, but he wasn't being used this season as a fifth receiver.
The Saints auditioned seven players on Tuesday, according to ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates: punters Fields, Steven Clark, Robert Malone and Brian Moorman, plus offensive linemen Travis Bond, Tony Hills and Jacques McClendon.
The Saints also released tight end Kevin Brock from injured reserve and released tight end Connor Hamlett and running back DuJuan Harris from their practice squad.