When NFL owners and the NFL Players Association agreed to add a 17th regular-season game to the schedule, fans wondered where the 17th game would come from.

With a 16 game schedule, a team plays each team in their division twice, along with a single game against each team out of an NFC and AFC division, rotating each of those two divisions on an annual basis. The other two games were against the opponent from the other same conference divisions that finished in the same place in their division the prior season.

In other words, the NFC South is matched up with the NFC East and AFC East. There are two NFC opponents include the Seahawks and Packers. The Saints, Seahawks, and Packers all finished first in their divisions last season.

But with the 17th game, teams now have either an extra home or extra road game, against a team from the opposing conference that finished in the same place in their division. The opponent from the division in the opposing conference will be one that it had not been scheduled to play based on the annual rotation of intraconference divisional opponents.

That's a wordy way of saying this Sunday, the Saints 17th game is a road contest against the 7-2 Tennessee Titans, owners of the second to best record in the NFL.

And the Saints will be missing some heavy hitters.

In addition to their starting quarterback (Jameis Winston) and All-Pro wide receiver (Michael Thomas) already being on injured reserve, New Orleans will be without running back Alvin Kamara, who was unable to practice this week due to a knee injury.

He's not the only key player on the Saints to have official OUT status this week.

All-Pro left tackle Terron Armstead Defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is currently in a walking boot after suffering a foot injury last Sunday. He is out against Tennessee, and a timetable for his potential return is unknown at this time.

Tennesee is missing their best player too, as running back Derrick Henry broke his foot 12 days ago in a win against the Colts.

The Titans injury report is longer than the Saints, but the majority of players on it are expected to play this Sunday.

LP - limited participant           FP - full participant         DNP - did not practice/participate

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

PositionNameInjuryWednesdayThursdayFridayGame Status
SC.J. Gardner-JohnsonFootDNPDNPDNPOut
RBAlvin KamaraKneeDNPDNPDNPOut
TTerron ArmsteadKnee/ShoulderDNPDNPDNPOut
WRTy MontgomeryHamstringLPLPLPQuestionable
DECarl GrandersonShoulderLPLPLPQuestionable

 

TENNESSEE TITANS

 

PositionNameInjuryWednesdayThursdayFridayGame Status
FBTory CarterHipDNPDNPLP
SDane CruikshankKneeDNPDNPDNPOut
LBBud DupreeKneeDNPLPLPQuestionable
CBChris JacksonFootDNPLPLP
LBHarold LandryHamstringDNPDNPLP
LBDavid LongHamstringDNPDNPDNPOut
CBGreg MabinAnkleDNPDNPDNPOut
DTJeffrey SimmonsAnkleDNPDNPLP
WRA.J. BrownKneeLPFPDNP
LBNick DzubnarKneeLPFPFP
LBRashaan EvanAnkleLPDNPDNPQuestionable
TKendall LammBackLPFPFP
TTaylor LewanKneeLPLPFP
DTTeair TartGroinLPDNPDNPQuestionable
GNate DavisConcussionFPFPFP
WRJulio JonesHamstringLPLPQuestionable
QBRyan TannehillIllnessDNP

On another note, there was some question as to who the Saints would start at quarterback Sunday between Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill.

Siemian will reportedly make his second consecutive start for New Orleans.

Tennessee (7-2) hosts New Orleans (5-3) on Sunday at noon.

Listen to the entire game, postgame show, and 'The Point After' call-in show on ESPN Lafayette.

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