Metairie, La. -- After suffering a hamstring injury in their week 10 loss to the Falcons, Marshon Lattimore has been ruled-out for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay. This will be a huge deficit at cornerback for the Saints, who will need to contain two of the top 4 receivers in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Behinds Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, who leads the league with 86 catches for 1,027 yards, Evans is second in the league with 924 receiving yards and is averaging 102.7 yards per game. Godwin is the 4th leading receiver in the NFL with 840 yards on the season, averaging 93.3 yards per game. Evans and Godwin have also combined for 13 of their 17 receiving touchdowns this season.
Lattimore has locked-up Evans in past match-ups, but now the task will fall on the rest of the Saints secondary to keep him-- and Godwin-- at bay. Behind Lattimore on the depth chart is Patrick Robinson, but they'll also need fellow corners Eli Apple and P.J Williams to step-up as well.
During Friday's press conference with the media, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton spoke about their depth and taking injuries as they come.
"It's hard to go through a season and be injury-free," Payton said. "You don't know what position groups are going to get. Hopefully you have less than more. But it's a long season and I would say it's pretty normal. Now how you handle it-- do you have the depth to win is more important, and hopefully you get those guys back as quickly as possible."
The Saints will also be without offensive tackle Andrus Peat (forearm) and receiver/ returner Deonte Harris (hamstring).
Despite being short-handed a few key starters, New Orleans is ready to get back in the win column after that bad loss to the Falcons.
"When you don't play well and you don't feel like as a coach you weren't successful, you're eager to get back and practice and eager to get back and get an opportunity to play," Payton said. "So quickly you're looking at all the mistakes and you're looking all the things you want to correct and hopefully we can do that this weekend."
The Saints (7-2) and Bucs (3-6) kick-off at 12:00 p.m. CT Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.