The New Orleans Saints will be without their All-Pro tight end for nearly a month after he injured his shoulder in Week 5. During the Saints' overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Graham left the game early with what was called a shoulder injury.
Graham is now expected to miss 2-3 weeks following the team's bye, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
#Saints star TE Jimmy Graham expected to miss 2-3 weeks after the bye with a shoulder sprain, source says. Likely out vs. #Lions & #Packers— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 12, 2014
This is just the latest setback for the Saints and Graham, who spent much of the offseason in a contract staredown. The two sides had been unable to work out an agreement this offseason because of Graham's argument is that he should be considered a receiver because he lined up either in the slot or out wide 67 percent of the time last season. The two sides were eventually able to bridge the gap in negotiations enough to reach a new deal.
In the four seasons prior to this year, Graham has been one of the best pass catchers at any position, catching 301 passes for 3,863 yards and 41 touchdowns.
With him out, Josh Hill and Ben Watson will split time at tight end, as they did in Week 5 after Graham went down last week. Watson saw seven targets, catching five passes for 43 yards. Hill saw three targets, catching three receptions for 53 yards.