The New Orleans Saints will be down another weapon for Sunday's matchup against the Carolina Panthers, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Friday that the Saints are placing wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on the reserve/COVID list. Since this happened so late in the week, he will have to quarantine and will miss Sunday's divisional matchup.
Sanders is coming off of his best game as a Saint, as he caught 12 of 14 targets for 122 yards during the Saints' 30-27 overtime win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 5. He's been Drew Brees' main target since Michael Thomas has been held out, and has caught a total of 26 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns in five games.
This development concerning Sanders is even more noteworthy since it appears Brees with be without Sanders and Thomas on Sunday. The three-time Pro Bowler sustained a high-ankle injury during the Saints' season-opening win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after he was rolled up on by running back Alvin Kamara late in the matchup. Initially, Thomas wasn't expected to miss much time, but he ended up missing the next three games. Thomas was officially listed as questionable for Week 5 after being a limited participant all week in practice, but then was suspended due to a disciplinary issue. It certainly appeared Thomas would have a good chance to return to the lineup this Sunday since the Saints had a bye in Week 6, but he tweaked his hamstring at the start of practice on Wednesday, which makes him a long shot to play on Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
If both Sanders and Thomas miss Week 7, expect Brees to rely even more on Kamara in the passing game. Additionally, he should have Tre'Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway and tight end Jared Cook to work with. Bennie Fowler would be in line to get some work as well, but he missed both Wednesday and Thursday's practice sessions with a shoulder injury.