Forgive Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo if he’s experiencing a little bit of déjà vu right now.
As head coach of the Rams last season, Spagnuolo saw cornerback after cornerback go down with injuries, leaving his defense far too shorthanded to match up with opposing offenses. On Tuesday, Spagnuolo watched projected nickel cornerback Johnny Patrick leave practice with a back injury, which meant that he joined starters Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson on the sideline as a spectator for the rest of the workout.
The Saints were left with Corey White, Marquise Johnson and Elbert Mack at corner for the rest of their joint workout with the Patriots. The same trio figures to see plenty of action when the Saints and Patriots face off against each other on Thursday.
“We are kind of getting dinged up there right now. I went through that last year unfortunately, losing a lot of corners,” Spagnuolo said after Tuesday’s practice. “So I don’t want to go through that again. But I’d rather have it happen now and get the guys to bounce back and have them ready for the regular season.”
The good news is that New Orleans should see that scenario play out while also getting their depth players some good experience while the regulars on the sideline. Robinson appears close to returning from his shoulder injury and Greer is expected back later in camp after undergoing sports hernia surgery. Assuming there aren’t any setbacks, that should mean Spagnuolo can stop thinking about similarities to last season.