Saints lose Derek Carr, Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore to injuries

MINNEAPOLIS -- The New Orleans Saints had three starting players leave with injuries during Sunday's 27-19 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Saints quarterback Derek Carr (right shoulder/concussion), wide receiver Michael Thomas (knee) and cornerback Marshon Lattimore (ankle) all made early exits, with both Carr and Lattimore leaving on a cart.

Carr left the game late in the third quarter after he took simultaneous high and low hits from Vikings defensive linemen. Carr appeared to take a helmet to his throwing shoulder and head as he completed his throwing motion and hit his head on the turf as he went to the ground.

Carr stayed down and many of his teammates took a knee as the Saints' team doctors came out to attend to him. He eventually walked off to the medical tent but got into the front seat of a cart a few minutes later. He was driven to the locker room and did not return.

Saints coach Dennis Allen said Carr was ruled out of the game due to the concussion and is in protocol.

"He was evaluated for a concussion. I can't really talk about it or elaborate on it," Allen said. "We'll look at it, but he was out of the game because he was evaluated for a concussion."

This is the second time this season that Carr has left a game early with an injury. He sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder in a loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 and was taken to a hospital to be evaluated. He played the next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carr was replaced in both games by backup quarterback Jameis Winston, who completed 13 of 25 passes for 122 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Winston had another interception overturned in the fourth quarter after officials reviewed it and said the pass was incomplete.

Allen said the Saints, who have a bye next week, have no plans to switch quarterbacks if Carr is healthy. Carr completed 13 of 18 passes for 110 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions prior to the injury.

"We'll see where Derek's at. I don't think, I know we're not in the competition there," Allen said. "I thought Jameis did some good things. Derek Carr is our starting quarterback."

Thomas left the game with a knee injury early in the first quarter. Thomas was targeted on the Saints' first two plays of the game and took a hard hit while attempting to catch a pass. Thomas played in only one series before walking to the medical tent, where he stayed for an extended period of time before coming back to the sideline. Thomas sat on the bench without a helmet and appeared to try to stretch out his knee, but he never returned to the game and was ruled out in the second half.

"It impacted some things that we were wanting to do. I thought overall, A.T. Perry came in and performed well. But I think any time you lose a guy of Mike's magnitude, it affects what you're doing," Allen said.

Thomas, 30, started Sunday's game two days after he was arrested in Kenner, Louisiana, on charges of simple battery and criminal mischief. The arrest came after an altercation with a construction worker near Thomas' house who accused him of throwing a brick at his windshield. According to Kenner Police, Thomas was booked without incident and released a few hours later before taking the flight to Minnesota with the team the next day.

Thomas, who played in only 10 regular-season games from 2020 to 2022 due to injuries, has not missed a game this season.

The Saints also lost Lattimore in the fourth quarter. Lattimore got into the front seat of the cart and was driven to the locker room with his right leg propped up.

Cornerback Alontae Taylor, defensive lineman Malcolm Roach and wide receiver Rashid Shaheed also appeared to deal with injuries during the game, although Shaheed stayed in until the final play.