By John Sigler | Saints Wire
Marshon Lattimore may be the most important player on the New Orleans Saints defense, but they’ll be without him on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lattimore injured his hamstring last week versus the Atlanta Falcons and missed practice throughout the week, with New Orleans ruling him out for their road game in Tampa. When Lattimore is playing at his best, there isn’t a receiver in football who can beat him — including Falcons superstar Julio Jones and Buccaneers big-play threat Mike Evans.
So the Saints have to adapt to life without him, at least temporarily. That means a change of responsibilities for starting slot corner P.J. Williams, who slides into Lattimore’s spot. While he’s definitely best suited to defending routes from the inside, Pro Football Focus charting over the last few years suggests Williams is hardly helpless when lined up outside.
When defending the slot in his last 24 games (including the playoffs), Williams has allowed 68 of 102 passes (66.7%) thrown into his coverage to be completed, gaining 810 yards (11.9 yards per catch). He’s forced 11 incomplete throws (11.8% of his total targets) in that time. That’s a passer rating allowed of 103.0.
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