The illegal hit that didn’t initially end the day of Saints tight end Coby Fleener likely has ended his season.
Fleener was placed on injured reserve on Saturday, six days after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit that didn’t result in his immediate removal from play.
The Saints also released on Saturday defensive back De'Vante Harris. They elevated from the practice squad tight end Garrett Griffin and defensive back Arthur Maulet.
If the Saints qualify for the Super Bowl, Fleener would be eligible to return for the game. Otherwise, his season is over.
Fleener has 22 catches for 295 yards and two touchdowns this year. He signed a five-year deal with the Saints in 2016, after completing his rookie contract in Indianapolis. He’s due to make $6.3 million in 2018. Of that amount, $3.4 million becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the next league year.
The 8-3 Saints host the 8-3 Panthers on Sunday for first place in the NFC South.