NEW ORLEANS (AP)The New Orleans Saints added veteran one-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jaylon Smith to their roster and he practiced in the Superdome on Friday in advance of Sunday’s preseason opener against Kansas City.
Saints coach Dennis Allen doubted Smith would play against the Chiefs.
“I wouldn’t expect for him to play,” Allen said. “We’ll have him ready in an emergency situation if we need him.”
Smith’s signing comes as starting linebacker and defensive captain Demario Davis tries to work his way back from a calf injury that has sidelined him since late last week.
Smith played at Notre Dame and began his NFL career with Dallas, which selected him in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft.
Smith has played in 87 career regular-season games with 69 starts for three teams: the Cowboys, Green Bay and the New York Giants. He was selected to the Pro Bowl during the 2019 season, when he was still with Dallas and made a career-high 168 tackles.
He moved to the Packers in 2021 and last season played in 13 games with 11 starts for the Giants. He made 88 tackles in 2022 to go with a sack and fumble recovery.
“He’s been a productive player in our league at an off-the-ball position,” Allen said. “So, we felt like he was somebody we’d like to bring into the mix.”
NOTES: LT Trever Penning was involved in a scuffle during 11-on-11 drills. Soon after, Allen huddled the entire team at midfield. Allen has said he likes Penning’s intensity and does not want to dial that back, but he also doesn’t want practice being derailed by fighting after the whistle. Allen said he told the team: “If we want to act like boxers, then we’ll train like boxers and get over on the side and run.” … RT Ryan Ramczyk, WR Michael Thomas and TE Jimmy Graham were given a “veteran day off” from Friday’s practice but all should be available for Sunday’s preseason opener, Allen said. … OL Landon Young left practice with what appeared to be a strained medial collateral ligament, Allen said. … New Orleans cut WR Keke Coutee to make room for Smith on the roster, which stands at the 90-player preseason maximum.
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