Here are five things to know before today’s Saints (1-1) at Falcons (1-1) kickoff at 1 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:
1. Freeman, McKinley and Shelby are out. Nelson cut and replaced by Jarvis: Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (knee), defensive end Takk McKinley (groin), defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin) will not play. Linebacker Corey Nelson (calf) was released with an injury settlement and replaced on the roster by rookie Dewey Jarvis from the practice squad on Saturday.
Tevin Coleman will take over for Freeman and Brooks Reed and Steven Means will move up in the defensive end rotation. Nelson played 18 plays on special teams against the Panthers last week.
2. Saints injury report. Linebakcer Manti Te’o (knee) and defensive tackle Tyeler Davison (foot) were declared out for the game. Tackle terron Armstead (knee), wide receiver Ted Ginn (knee) and guard Andrus Peat (ankle) were limited in practice on Friday.
3. Series history:This will be the Falcons’ 98th regular-season meeting with the Panthers. The Falcons lead the series, 51-46. The two teams split last season with New Orleans winning 23-13 on Dec. 24 and the Falcons winning 20-17 on Dec. 7 in Atlanta. Here’s the analysis of this game.
4. Falcons Kazee looking for clean game. Falcons free safety Damontae Kazee was fined $10,026 for the hit he put on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton on Friday.
He became the third Falcons player to be fined this season. Grady Jarrett was fined ($20,054) for his hit on Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and tight end Eric Saubert was fined ($10,026) for a face-mask penalty against the Eagles.
Also, defensive end Takk McKinley was fined $10,026 for coming to the aid of Kazee after Carolina wide receiver Torrey Smith pushed him down. Smith was also fined $10,026.
“I have to learn when to take my shot and not take my shot,” Kazee said Wednesday. “When he was sliding, I was already in the air. I tried to lean over to the left and nicked him with my face mask. I apologized for the hit and everything.”
Kazee was involved in another high-profile hit, when he lowered his helmt to hit Jacksonville wide receiver Marqise Lee, who suffered a serious knee injury and is out for the season.
Kazee received a penalty, but was not fined for the hit on Lee.
5. Where to watch, listen:Here’s the broadcast information for Sunday’s game which is being televised by Fox Sports withSam Rosen handling the play-by-play, Cris Carter the commentating and Sara Walsh as the side line reporter.