Justin Hardee opened September by getting cut by the Texans, which led him to sign with the Saints practice squad and be in the right place when the Saints were looking to promote a player to the active roster later in the month.
Hardee got the nod and the defensive back has made an impact on the team without playing a defensive snap. Hardee has been a staple on special teams over the last six games and he came up with a big play early in last Sunday’s victory over the Buccaneers.
After opening the game with a field goal, the Saints defense forced a quick three-and-out and Hardee blocked Bryan Anger‘s punt. Hardee scooped up the ball and ran it seven yards for a touchdown that extended the lead to 10-0 in what would wind up as a 30-10 win for New Orleans.
It also led the NFL to name Hardee the NFC’s special teams player of the week, continuing a run of strong play by the rookie class for the 6-2 Saints.